The Sneaky Slytherin and the Redhead's Revenge by Yazethet
Past Featured StorySummary: *COMPLETE* Blackmail, intrigue, lust and yes, snogging. He thought he detested her, she knows she loathes him. Can Draco win Ginny over before she tries to completely humiliate him in front of the entire school?
Categories: Long and Completed Characters: Blaise Zabini (boy), Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Other Characters, Ron Weasley
Compliant with: None
Era: Hogwarts-era
Genres: Humor, Romance
Warnings: Slash
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 29 Completed: Yes Word count: 82766 Read: 204737 Published: May 10, 2004 Updated: Apr 17, 2007

1. Phobia by Yazethet

2. Moste Impotente Potions by Yazethet

3. Confusion by Yazethet

4. A Little Revenge by Yazethet

5. Temper and Truth by Yazethet

6. The Bet by Yazethet

7. The Winner by Yazethet

8. Advanced Potions by Yazethet

9. The Gift by Yazethet

10. Prefect Patrol by Yazethet

11. Aftermath by Yazethet

12. Ginny Schemes by Yazethet

13. At the Beach by Yazethet

14. Why Ginny Hates Draco by Yazethet

15. An Apology by Yazethet

16. The Fiery Goddess by Yazethet

17. The Dream Whisperer by Yazethet

18. In the Forbidden Forest by Yazethet

19. Another Gift by Yazethet

20. The Broom Closet by Yazethet

21. The Goddess Awakens by Yazethet

22. To Hogsmeade by Yazethet

23. The Shrieking Shack by Yazethet

24. Rings and Things by Yazethet

25. Slytherin vs. Gryffindor (Part I) by Yazethet

26. Slytherin vs. Gryffindor (Part II) by Yazethet

27. Draco's Bad Day by Yazethet

28. The Sneaky Slytherin by Yazethet

29. The Redhead's Revenge by Yazethet

Phobia by Yazethet
Author's Notes:
Disclaimer: JK Rowling created this world. I just wreak havoc in it.
Chapter 1

Phobia

~*~


“You can’t be serious.”

“Oh, but I am.”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Are you sure about that?” she grinned evilly at him.

“How the hell did you get sorted into Gryffindor? I thought you were all supposed to be noble, moralistic gits.”

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” she said the twisted smile still on her lips.

“Weasley, I demand-”

“Demand? Oh, I don’t think you are in any position to be demanding anything, Malfoy. By the way, you can keep that copy. I have plenty more.”

He couldn’t bring himself to look at the photo again. He wanted to be sick. He had no idea how she even managed it. Worst of all he had no idea how he had managed it! He couldn’t have been that drunk. Could he? He couldn’t remember anything, but surely he would never ever be that drunk. There wasn’t enough alcohol in the world! It had to be a fake. He had to have been set up. But how could he prove it? The little Weasel had him and there was nothing he could do about it. For now anyway.

“What do you want, Weasel,” he sneered.

“Temper, temper. You know, your humiliation is probably enough for me to distribute these.”

“No one will believe that it is actually me. They wouldn’t dare.”

“Well, we can see if you’re right, if you want. Ta!” She turned and began walking away, her wicked smile still plastered to her lips.

“Wait!” He couldn’t risk it, and she knew it. She was toying with him. He wondered how she didn’t get sorted as a Slytherin. “What is it going to cost,” he growled.

“I don’t want your money, Malfoy. Well, not yet anyway,” she smirked. It was a smirk worthy of a Malfoy. He was furious with her. But he had to admire her for being so bloody Slytherin. It was sneaky and low and he was going to find out how she did it. He never knew it was possible for a Weasley to be so damned evil.

“What do you want then?”

“We’ll start simple. First you leave Harry, Ron and Hermione alone. You can no longer refer to them or call them Scarhead, Weasel or Mudblood anymore. We’ll see how you do with that and then we’ll see how long I keep these photos under wraps.”

Ah. The nobility factor was kicking in.

“Fine.” He was rather fond of irritating the Trio of Twits, however he now had a new goal. He grinned mischievously at the thought.

“What are you smirking about, Malfoy?”

“Paybacks are hell, Weasley.”

“We’ll see.”

She raised her eyebrows, returned the smirk and then walked away.

He brought himself to look down at the revolting photo as he dropped it into the trash bin. He watched himself turn to the camera with a drunken smirk. He was standing next to Vincent Crabbe, who looked daft as ever. He murmured a charm to set the photo on fire before he could see himself turn to Crabbe and place his own lips over Crabbe’s in a nasty, sloppy, drunken kiss. He swore he saw Crabbe’s fat hand grab his arse just a moment before they released each other.

He was going to find out how she had done it and she was going to pay.

~*~*~

?Ginny was practically skipping down the hall with glee. She had Draco Malfoy by the - ahem - bollocks and there was nothing he could do about it. He was virtually her slave.

“Having a good day, are we?”

“Hullo, Colin,” she smiled sweetly, innocently. “How are you this fine day?”

“I take it you had your little chat with Malfoy?” he laughed. He, of course had been the one who had actually taken the photo. He knew what she was up to and was fully supportive of it. It was about time Malfoy got his.

“We did have a rather nice little chat. He can actually be quite agreeable, under the right circumstances, of course.”

“Of course,” he agreed

“This is going to be too much fun.”

“You’re absolutely wicked, Gin. Remind me never to get on your bad side.”

They entered the Great Hall for lunch and saw Harry, Ron and Hermione sitting together as usual. Hermione waved at them and they took their seats by them.

“What are you two looking so pleased about?” Ron appeared to be in a foul temper, but she wasn’t going to allow him to ruin her good mood.

“Nothing,” she said innocently. She snuck a glance at Colin and saw he was trying very hard not to laugh.

She noticed Malfoy entering the Great Hall. He was obviously irate as he slammed his books down at his usual spot at the Slytherin table. Colin tried even harder not to laugh.

Harry looked up at the sound of books slamming. “Wonder what Ferret’s problem is today.”

Ginny couldn’t resist. “Maybe he got into a row with one if his -ahem- girlfriends.”

At this both Colin and Ginny doubled over in laughter earning looks of confusion from the trio. Ginny looked up just in time to see Malfoy giving her a murderous look which only made her laugh harder.

“Okay, you two, what gives?” Ron was now thoroughly annoyed.

“Inside joke,” she giggled. “It’s nothing, really.”

She watched as Crabbe and Goyle entered the Hall and took their usual seats by Malfoy. He gave Crabbe a look of revulsion before he got up and left the Great Hall again. He looked like he was going to be sick.

After he left, a new wave of laughter hit Colin and Ginny. Ron just shook his head. Hermione, who had been quiet the entire time, finally spoke up. “If I didn’t know better, I think you two are up to something. And by the looks of his vicious glances in your direction I think it involves Draco Malfoy.”

Harry and Ron looked from Hermione to Ginny and Colin. They were still laughing.

“We’re neither confirming, nor denying anything,” Colin managed after another round of laughter. “Come on Gin, we’ve got to get to the Library” He grabbed her by the arm and hurried out the Great Hall.

Ginny was gasping for breath since she was still fighting off fits of giggling. “Hermione’s too observant for her own good.”
~*~*~

?Later that evening they were studying in the common room when Hermione joined them at their table.

“Okay, you two, what have you done to Malfoy?” she looked at them suspiciously.

“Why do you ask?” Ginny smiled angelically.

“He’s being civil.”

“And this is a bad thing?”

“No,” she said slowly. “But it’s very odd. And he keeps eyeing Crabbe as if he’s going to attack him or something.”

“Maybe it’s Crabbe who did something to him,” replied Colin glancing quickly at Ginny who was biting her lip holding back yet another bout of hilarity.

Hermione just gave them another doubting look. “Alright, then. I won’t ask any more questions, but be careful around Malfoy. Honestly, you two are about as bad as Fred and George were.”

They both smiled innocently as she left for her room.

~*~*~

?Draco sat in the Slytherin Common room studying Crabbe carefully. He was careful not to look obvious. He didn’t want him thinking that he was giving him the glad-eye. Draco Malfoy had always been a ladies’ man. What the hell had he been on that night? He still refused to believe that the photo was real. But there was enough lingering doubt in the back of his mind to make him question himself. If only he remembered anything from that night! He had wanted to ask Crabbe if he remembered anything from that night, but he was afraid of what he’d find out.

He was going to get even with that little Weasel if it was the last thing he’d do. How could she possible do this to him?

Surely, there was something he could pin on her. He had been civil to the Trio of Twits. They appeared bewildered by this so he decided that they had apparently not been involved in this little scheme of hers. At lunch he seethed as he watched her and her boyfriend Creevey laughing, most likely at his expense. He figured Creevey was in on it. He was the one who probably took the photo. Bastard.

There was no way he’d spend his last two years at Hogwarts being blackmailed by a Weasley.

Her first request had been simple enough. It was slightly annoying, but he could deal with it. He was afraid, however, things might just get worse. Who knew what else she was capable of if she was capable of blackmail?

He saw a large shadow looming over him as he was thinking and looked up to see Crabbe staring down at him.

“What do you want?” he snapped.

“Are you going up to the dorm soon?”

“What do you care? Leave me alone!” The color drained from Draco’s already pale face. Crabbe’s face was expressionless and he only shrugged slightly as he continued on his way.

“Damn her!”
~*~*~

?Draco had been walking down the hall brooding when a hand reached out and yanked him to the side. He saw Weasley standing there with yet another smug look on her face. She was strong for a petite girl, he noticed as she dragged him into an empty classroom. Colin Creevey was waiting.

“Let go of me you little - ”

“Careful, Malfoy,” Creevey said. “I wouldn’t make her mad if I were you.”

Draco glared at him.

“Aw. Did you and your boyfriend have a row, Malfoy?” Ginny asked, mockingly sympathetic.

“He’s not my boyfriend,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Colin, did you hear that? He’s available again!”

“He is rather devilishly handsome,” Colin said slipping an arm around him. “What do you think, Gin? Wouldn’t we make a charming couple?”

Colin Creevey was openly gay and it was well known by most everyone. Everyone except Draco. Until now.

A shiver of disgust ran down his spine. He stepped away quickly out of the taller blond’s reach brushing himself off as he did so.

“Don’t touch me! You - you - ” he failed to find words.

“Gee, Malfoy. I thought you two would get on well,” Ginny said in mock innocence. “In fact, that was going to be my next request.”

“You’re not serious!” he said, dumbstruck.

She grinned deviously. “Relax, Malfoy. I’m only joking. You aren’t really Colin’s type anyway.”

“What do you want, Weasley. I’ve got things to do,” he hissed.

“What an appropriate name for Crabbe,” Ginny mused. “Things. Is that a special pet name for him?”

Draco flushed red with anger. He refused to be embarrassed by a mere Weasley.

“Colin has a favor to ask – and don’t look at me that way – I already told you, you’re not his type.”

“What kind of favor?” he tried regaining his composure.

“I need some information on a fellow Slytherin of yours. You must be absolutely discreet about it.” He could see a Colin flushing a little.

“What kind of information and on who?”

“Blaise Zabini,” Ginny continued. Colin was becoming a little flustered at his own request. “We need to know his, uh, preference, if you know what I mean. And if he has special interests in anyone.”

Blaise Zabini was actually someone who Draco considered a friend as opposed to Crabbe and Goyle who were merely his cronies. Suddenly he wanted to be sick again. Was Blaise really his friend? Or did he have special interests in him?

“What makes you think he’s gay?” he finally blurted out. This was almost too much.

“I have my suspicions,” Colin said. “I just need to know for sure.”

“Gods, is everyone in this school gay?!” he muttered as he stormed out. He heard their laughter as he slammed the classroom door.

How the hell was he going to talk to Blaise about this and remain discreet about it? The question of his friendship with him bothered him too. Of course he could understand why Blaise, and Crabbe for that matter, would be interested in him. He was, after all, rather handsome and what exactly did Creevey mean by saying he wasn’t his type? He was charming and handsome and -

He couldn’t believe that he was even going there. What the hell was he thinking? He wondered if homosexuality was contagious. This was something he was definitely going to have to bring up to his Headhealer. But for now he needed to find a nice, easy girl and he needed to find one fast.
~*~*~
Moste Impotente Potions by Yazethet
Disclaimer: JK Rowling created this world. I just wreak havoc in it.

Chapter 2


Moste Impotente Potions

~*~


Draco was satisfied. Well - not quite, but he was going to be. He had arranged to meet Marietta down in the dungeons after dinner. She was pretty enough, but not extremely bright. It was a wonder that she ended up in Ravenclaw. It didn’t really matter, however, as he only needed her body, not her brain.

He was beginning to feel a bit better after that morning’s encounter with Weasley and her partner in crime. Only shortly after leaving the classroom he had bumped into Marietta and had arranged his little rendezvous with her.

During History of Magic he let his mind wander. He was trying to do anything but think about Creevey, Crabbe, or Blaise Zabini. He let his mind wander to the pretty brunette that he would have later that evening. He was going to enjoy her. From what he’d heard she was very experienced. The image of Marietta formed in his head. Her lips were swollen from his kisses and her red hair was mussed from unladylike activities. Freckles were dusted delicately across her face and shoulders and she was calling his name...

He recoiled at the thought of Marietta looking like Weasley and couldn’t believe the image had popped into his head at all. But it suddenly it gave him an idea. He needed a way to get back at Weasley and perhaps he had just found one. Two can play this game, Weasley, he thought.

~*~*~


“Ugh! I make one tiny mistake and he gives me detention. Detention! Can you believe it? I’m a prefect for Merlin’s sake.”

“Mistake?” Colin eyed her doubtfully. “And being a prefect doesn’t get you out of serving detention. Didn’t you read the prefect’s handbook? Unfortunately, we’re supposed to be just as well behaved as anyone else here.”

“Okay, so it wasn’t a mistake exactly. But you must admit the dungeons smell much nicer now,” Ginny said cheerfully. “Honestly, though. It was a perfectly good batch of the Draught of Peace. It would have worked just fine and you’d fall asleep dreaming of flowers. What could be more peaceful than that?”

“I doubt Snape enjoys the scent of roses as much as you do.”

“I was only trying to be creative. I know the properties of each one of those ingredients and adding a drop of rosewater and a single unicorn hair and stirring clockwise three times after adding the moonstone will have no ill effects on the potion’s potency. He always makes things sound much worse than they are. I should get extra points for making it better.”

“I thought the rose petals were quite creative,” he said grinning at his best friend.

Ginny didn’t just have a talent for potions. She made it an art. She had inherited her twin brothers’ gift of experimentation but had a tendency to be a little more accurate about the outcome of various combinations than her brothers. Thus far, however, she had behaved herself and always followed exact instructions in Potions. She would often complain about Snape being overzealous about the affects of one potion or another if you didn’t do everything exactly as he said. Potions were a precise science to some, but to Ginny there was always room for enhancement.

Today had been the first time she had ever actually finally acted on her desire to alter one of the potions Snape had assigned them. She had finally grown bored enough to do so. She added the extra ingredients and mixed them in so as not to disturb the effects of the remainder of the ingredients. She was quite pleased with herself when her silver vapors started turning into silver rose petals and floated around her cauldron. The scent of roses quickly began to fill the room. She had just filled her vial when the scent and sight of roses had caught Snape’s attention.

He had immediately given her detention telling her she would redo the potion exactly as he had instructed. He had still taken the vial she had filled with her version of the potion and surprisingly didn’t say much more to her. It was unusual for Snape to pass up a chance to berate a Gryffindor for making a mistake in his class. Of course, she hadn’t made a mistake. She had done it on purpose.

She really wasn’t that upset about getting detention, she honestly expected some type of punishment for her stunt. But she did have better things to do. She wanted to get out on the Quidditch pitch to train a little. Last year she had been Seeker in place of Harry, but this year she thought she’d try for a position as Chaser or Beater since Dumbledore had lifted any lifetime bans that had been handed out as punishment the year before, allowing Harry to have his position back. Harry had also been named Captain so she didn’t want to make a fool of herself during tryouts.

She had long ago gotten over her crush on Harry Potter. She was perfectly happy being just friends with him. Still, she didn’t want to disappoint him when she tried out for the team. Practice would have to wait until tomorrow. She hoped Ron wouldn’t be too upset.

~*~*~


“Detention? But you’re a prefect!”

Ginny had broken the news to her brother as they ate dinner.

“Yes, well as Colin reminded me we aren’t exactly exempt from punishments.”

“You should know that, Ron. What on earth did you get detention for, Ginny?” Hermione didn’t look too pleased with her. She took prefect duties very seriously and expected everyone to do the same.

“Potions.”

“That figures, Snape always takes his frustrations out on Gryffindors,” Ron commented.

“Well, I was bored.”

She explained how she managed to get detention in Potions that afternoon.

“So that’s why the dungeons smelled like roses,” Harry said grinning. “And we thought he had flowers for some woman.”

Ron was laughing, “That’s too funny, Gin. But it put him in a worse mood for our class. He really got upset when the girls commented on how ‘lovely’ the dungeons smelled today.”

“That’s actually very advanced potion making. It’s beyond NEWT level and I’m not even sure Snape goes into that until seventh year, if at all. I think he only allows his Advance Potion class to do it. It's quite dangerous.”

“What do you mean?” Ron asked surprised that his little sister was doing anything advanced.

“Potion enhancement.”

“Please, Hermione, it wasn’t really a big deal. I was only having fun,” she said dismissively. “Besides, Professor Snape didn’t seem too impressed. He’s making me redo the potion his way. I swear the man has no sense of humor. Well, I’ve got to be going. If all he makes me do is create the Draught of Peace his way then I probably won’t be too long. I might even make it out to the pitch.”

~*~*~


“I should have known it would be you,” Draco sneered as Ginny entered the classroom.

“What are you doing here?”

“Professor Snape has a meeting to attend, apparently, and as a prefect of his house I have certain duties which include supervising your detention. You’re to remake the Draught of Peace.”

Ginny gathered the ingredients she needed and began brewing the potion. Draco had taken a seat at a table across the room and was working on homework. They worked in silence for a time. Ginny, though, couldn’t seem to help herself.

“I should make you do this for me,” she said nonchalantly.

Draco had stopped writing. “I am not doing your punishment. It’s punishment enough to have to be here when I have plans.”

Ginny noted he was restraining himself from insulting her. It was amusing.

“Ruining a little tryst, am I?”

“I’d be careful if I were you, Weasley. You may have something over me now, but I assure you, I will get my revenge.”

“Is that a threat?”

“Get back to work. I want to get out of here. I’ve got things to do.”

Ginny smirked. She really couldn’t help herself. “Ah, yes. Things.”

Draco caught the meaning as he recalled their conversation from that morning. He barely retained his composure. “Actually, I have a pretty Ravenclaw brunette to do. She,” he emphasized, “knows how to please a man.” And then he added for reasons unknown to himself, “Unlike some inexperienced little girls.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?” Ginny was irritated. She shouldn’t have been, but his tone was contemptuous and that aggravated her.

Draco knew he hit a nerve. “Oh, just some things I’ve heard from your previous boyfriends. It would also probably explain why you were never able to get Potter either.”

Ginny was furious now. How dare he even go there! She thought about threatening him with the photos again, however, she realized that if she rearranged the order of the ingredients she was working with and stirred four extra times she had a potion capable of rendering a man impotent if applied to the correct region. She wasn’t sure how long the effect would last but it would be enough to ruin his little tryst with the Ravenclaw. For some reason she felt a little satisfaction at that thought, though she wondered why she was bothered by the fact he was meeting with the girl in the first place. She was angry and she needed revenge immediately.

She hadn’t said another word after his last comment so Draco went back to working on his homework feeling smugly satisfied that he had finally gotten the last word. Ten minutes later she had walked over to his table and plopped the cauldron down in front of him.

“What are you doing?” he said leaning back in his chair. It was just the opportunity Ginny needed.

She murmured the levitation spell and flicked her wand so that the cauldron flipped upside down and dumped its contents all over his lap.

“Oops!” she said sarcastically. “I guess I’m going to have to start all over.”

“Damn it, Weasley! These trousers are Zhovani custom made. You better not have ruined them,” he growled as he performed a cleaning charm on himself. “You just did that to waste my time.”

That wasn’t exactly why she had done it, only an added bonus. “Are you afraid your date won’t wait for you?” She started gathering the ingredients again. She was feeling much better already.

“She’ll wait. No woman can resist the Malfoy charm,” he said arrogantly.

Ginny snorted.

“What’s the matter, Weasley? Jealous?”

“Hardly, Malfoy. Though Crabbe may be. You really ought to take his feelings into consideration,” she returned smoothly. She was the one with the upper hand here and he’d best not forget it.

Draco glared at her and returned to his homework.

An hour later a fine silvery vapor was emanating from her cauldron. She had completed the Draught of Peace exactly as Snape had requested and she had done it from memory.

She had just filled another vial with the concoction when Professor Snape entered the room. He dismissed Draco who apparently thought better than to say anything about the potion she had dumped on him earlier, but still glowered at her just as he left.

“I’ve finished the potion, Professor,” she said as she handed him the vial and performed the spell to clean her cauldron. “May I go now?”

“I need a word with you, Miss Weasley.”

She sighed. She had wasted enough time earlier and was ready for a few rounds about the pitch. She wasn’t exactly in the mood for a lecture. She sat and waited for him to speak.

“You are aware, Miss Weasley, that up until today your performance in my class has been exemplary.” It was not a question.

"Yes, Professor Snape,” she replied, slightly bored.

“Are you also aware that this is an flawless sample of the Draught of Peace?” he said indicating the vial she had filled during Potions, not the one she had just completed.

“Well, yes. I just improved it a bit,” she commented, a little bewildered. He was supposed to be reprimanding her for changing the potion, not praising her.

“Did you happen to read the instructions on the board for creating the potion during your detention?”

She hadn’t even glanced at the board but as she read it now she noticed that there were two extra steps. She now felt a little foolish for doing it from memory now.

“No. I thought you wanted me to make the Draught of Peace the way you had instructed in class. The recipe on the board now calls for –” she reread the board. “ – wait. The steps that are listed now would cause nightmares!”

"How long have you been bored in my class, Miss Weasley?”

“I – I’m not,” she said lamely.

“Come now. The last four years you’ve been scoring perfect marks in my class. And today you have the audacity to enhance a potion that requires preciseness in all aspects in order for it to work correctly. You managed to successfully enhance it. You’ve just created that same OWL rated potion from memory. And you could tell just by reading the board that the concoction I created up there would give one nightmares.”

He was scowling at her. Ginny remained silent having decided it was not a good idea to receive another detention for mouthing off.

"I'm going to suggest that you be moved to my Advanced Potions class," he said, gruffly. "I hope you do not disappoint me."

Ginny made every attempt not to allow her jaw to smash into the floor. Had she really just been moved to an advanced class?

“I don’t normally take students prior to completing their OWLs, however, I believe that you will be capable of obtaining an Outstanding on your Potions OWL. Class will meet twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays after your lunch period. I believe that is your free period so we will not need to make any adjustments to your current schedule. I will still expect you to study on your own, as you will still be required to learn the material to pass your OWLs. If you feel that an advanced class is too daunting and you wish to pass on this opportunity and remain in your normal potions class, that is entirely up to you. But if you disrupt my class again with your bored antics, you will regret it. I will expect your decision by the end of the week. Advanced Potions begins next Tuesday. You are dismissed.”

Ginny nodded and left. She no longer had time to go out to the pitch but now she had a lot to think about. She had never had the problem with Professor Snape that Harry or Ron had. He wasn’t actually pleasant, but he never seemed to purposely pick on her as he did some others. He was giving her a great opportunity and she could quit her regular boring Potions class!

~*~*~


Oh gods! This can’t be happening, Draco thought in a slight panic. This can’t have ever actually happened to a Malfoy!

Marietta had been waiting as he had expected. They had begun their snogging session as Draco had planned but as things progressed he found that nothing was happening. Nothing. He had been with many girls before and this had never happened. She was touching him in all the right places, he was groping her in all the right places and still there was no reaction. This was a problem that old wizards have, not young men in their sexual peak!

“Draco, what’s wrong?” Marietta had asked when he was no longer responding to her.

He decided he’d have to quit before she became suspicious of his problem. That was the last thing he needed right now. He didn’t need Marietta spreading rumors.

“I’ve decided I don’t want you. You’re not nearly as good as I’ve heard. I’m leaving.”

He gathered his things, smoothed his hair back into position and left. The truth was, she really wasn’t as good as he’d heard. Her kisses were far too needy and she was too fast and not nearly as gentle as she should be. But there still should have been some reaction; a voice in the back of his head reminded him. He was male, after all. It shouldn’t take much.
~*~*~
Confusion by Yazethet
Disclaimer: JK Rowling created this world. I just wreak havoc in it.

Chapter 3

Confusion

~*~

 
"Wow, Ginny! That’s so exciting!” Hermione was ecstatic at Ginny's news of being invited to Snape's Advanced Potion class. Apparently, Hermione was planning on taking the class the following year when she could properly fit it into her schedule.

Ron congratulated his younger sister on her accomplishment.

“I still have to study for the Potions OWL on my own though.”

“I can help you study,” Hermione said excitedly.

“Uh, thanks, Hermione. I’ll let you know if I need any help.” Ginny was grateful for the offer, however Hermione’s version of studying didn’t quite suit her. She was sure that Colin would keep her informed of what was going on in Potions so she didn’t have to spend hours on end with Hermione going over completely useless pieces of information.

Colin had just entered the common room at that moment and Ginny excused herself to inform him of the recent news. She wasn’t sure how he would take it, as they had been potions partners since their first year.

“Well,” he sighed after she had informed him of her decision, “it was only a matter of time, I suppose. I really am glad for you, Gin. But I don’t know how I’ll get through Potions this year without you.”

“We can still study together. I’ll still need to know what’s going to be on the Potions OWL.”

He nodded and smiled. “So, has Malfoy come up with any information yet?”

She shook her head. “We only asked him this morning. A little anxious are we?” she grinned and Colin blushed slightly. “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you! Malfoy was the one overseeing my detention and...”

Ginny told Colin about her detention with Malfoy and what she had done to him. She told him about how Malfoy was supposed to meet a Ravenclaw girl (she had mentioned this with a little too much irritation in her voice she realized after she saw the odd look Colin gave her) and how she had dumped the potion on his lap. By the time she finished telling her story she and Colin were in tears again.

“You know, Gin,” Colin said still trying to control his laughter, “if I didn’t know any better I would have thought you did that out of jealousy.”

“Yeah, right,” she replied as her own laughter died down. “Why would I be jealous?”

Colin shrugged and said, “I don’t know,” but something in his eyes told Ginny that he wasn’t telling her something. She decided to let it go for now as she realized that she had felt jealous. Some days Colin knew her a little too well.

As she returned to her dormitory her thoughts lingered on the fact that she had been jealous. There was no reason for her to be jealous. It wasn’t as if she even liked Malfoy. Sure, he was attractive; there was no denying that. He was well aware of it, too. But, really, what else was there to like? He was a pompous, conceited, irritating, self-important, pretentious son-of-a-Death-Eater! There was nothing to like there at all, even if he was gorgeous.

~*~*~


Draco entered the Slytherin common room with the intention of going straight to bed. But when Blaise Zabini spotted him coming through the entrance he changed his mind. He needed to speak with Blaise anyway, though he still wasn’t sure how he was going to bring up the subject.

“Back a bit early, aren’t you? Thought you were meeting up with Marietta this evening.”

“She wasn’t quite as satisfying as I hoped she would be,” Draco answered dismissively. He wasn’ t really in the mood to discuss his rendezvous that had gone terribly wrong.

“I see.”

“Blaise,” Draco started, not even knowing how he should continue. “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“I, uh, was asked by...uh...someone...I mean...someone I know wanted to know if...” Draco was becoming flustered. He had no idea how to even ask Blaise about his preference.

“Are you quite all right?” Blaise looked at him in concern. Draco wondered if it might be easier to ask if he was seeing anyone.

“Yes, fine,” he said regaining his composure. “This person I know wanted to know if you were...uh...seeing anyone in particular.”

Blaise gave him a look of interest. “Really? And who might this person be?”

Draco didn’t know how to tell him Colin Creevey had a crush on him. He was supposed to be discreet about it, but he had already gotten flustered once and it was very unlike him to become so.

“I can’t tell you who. Not right now, anyway.”

“Well, that’s hardly fair, is it?” Blaise looked rather amused.

“Probably not. So are you seeing anyone or not?” Draco was ready to get the information he needed and get this conversation over with.

“If I tell you, will you tell me who wants to know?”

“I told you I couldn’t tell you.”

“Not even a hint?”

“Well, I suppose a hint wouldn’t hurt. Though I doubt you’d figure it out anyway. I never even thought – well, that’s beside the point. So?”

“No, I’m not seeing anyone, yet,” Blaise answered smiling. “I haven’t exactly found anyone who is my, uh, type.”

Draco was disappointed. He had hoped he was seeing someone, at least then he would know if Blaise was gay or not. He decided to work with what he could.

“So, what is your type anyway? I’ve never really seen you with any girls. In all the years we’ve known each other you haven’t really dated.” Draco just realized that he probably answered his own question. Colin Creevey was right. How could he have possibly let this slip past him all these years?

“You really want to know?” Blaise asked him. Draco wasn’t sure he did, but he nodded his head anyway.

“I like blonds,” he said grinning. Then he looked at Draco and frowned slightly.
        
Remembering that he had promised a hint, Draco decided to tell him the person who wanted to know was blond. At first Blaise appeared to be euphoric over this information and then again he looked and Draco and frowned. He grabbed Draco’s hand.
        
“When did you know?” he asked gently, looking intently into Draco’s eyes. It was exactly at this point that the potion that was dumped on him had finally worn off. Had he known what Ginny had done earlier he would have realized that all the potion did was create delayed reaction. What he should have been feeling earlier with Marietta he was suddenly feeling now.
        
This can’t be happening, Draco thought. He was utterly grateful he had decided to lay his books on his lap. Thankfully, there was no one else in the common room.
        
He yanked his hand away from Blaise to readjust his books feeling highly uncomfortable at what had suddenly happened.
        
“What do you mean?” he said a little harshly.
        
“Look, I have to tell you something. I hope it doesn’t ruin our friendship, because I really do value you as a friend, but just as a friend,” he emphasized.
        
Draco was relieved to hear they were just friends, but was suddenly very confused as to what just happened.
        
“I hope you don’t take offense to this, Draco, but, frankly, you aren’t my type. But I’m sure there is someone out there for you!”
        
Draco wanted to run screaming from the room. In fact, he would have done so had it not been for his little problem.
        
“What are you talking about?” he said a little aggravated now.
        
“I though that...the way you were going on about Marietta not being satisfying and someone being interested who is blond and - ”
        
“I’m not gay, Blaise,” Draco said firmly. But a small part of him (or perhaps not so small) didn’t seem in agreement with that statement. And what the hell was it with everyone believing he wasn’t their type?
        
“Oh,” Blaise said, disappointment evident in his voice, but also a bit of relief.
        
“What the hell were you going on about?”
        
“Well, you might as well know. You may not be gay, but I am,” he said resolutely.
        
“Then why wouldn’t I be your type?” Draco just couldn’t get over the indignity of not being someone’s type. Twice in one day he was told this. Twice! It was insulting. Draco Malfoy was everyone’s type.
        
Blaise started laughing. “You don’t need to sound so offended. First of all, you aren’t gay. Second of all, well, you’re a bit full of yourself.”
        
Draco snorted. “Some friend you are.”
        
“Come on, don’t be that way. But we are still friends, right?” Blaise appeared suddenly unsure of himself.
        
“Course.” Draco found it odd that hearing the truth wasn’t so bad.
        
“Wait a tick, if you aren’t gay, then who is this blond that’s interested in me?”
        
“I’m not supposed to say,” he said frowning.
        
“So there really is someone?”
        
“Yes.”
        
“So, is this person my type?” Blaise was smiling again.
        
“I don’t know,” Draco said testily. “But I’m apparently not his type either so you two are a probably a perfect match.”
        
Blaise laughed again. Draco snorted in slight irritation.
        
“I think we need find you someone now. It’s pretty bad when you’re getting jealous of me. It’s getting late, I’m off to bed now,” Blaise said yawning. “Good night.”
        
“Night,” Draco replied moodily still sitting in the chair with his books on his lap.
        
“Are you coming up?”
        
“I’ve got a little more homework to do,” he lied. Blaise nodded and continued to the dorms. Draco was still waiting for his problem to go away. He concentrated on things that would turn him off.
        
Half an hour later he walked up the stone steps to the dorm rooms wondering why the hell his body reacted the way it did when Blaise grabbed his hand, especially after failing with Marietta. He wasn’t gay. He couldn’t be. He was positive he woke up this morning straight. He was going to have to discuss this with his Headhealer.

His thoughts turned to the damned photograph Weasley was blackmailing him with, the one he was sure was fake. Or was it? He tried remembering that night again.
        
It had been after the start of the term Feast. Several fifth through seventh years had gathered in a series of rooms in the northern tower that appeared to have not been used in several years. It was mostly Slytherin, but there were a few from Ravenclaw as well, but only those expressly invited. A few of the seventh year Slytherins had been able to sneak in several bottles of fire whiskey and various other alcoholic beverages.
        
Draco had quite a few shots of fire whiskey. He remembered that much. He had gone between being angry with his father for being put in Azkaban to laughing wildly about some stupid joke Goyle had come up with. He had to have been drunk to be laughing at one of Goyle’s jokes. He vaguely remembered finding a smaller room with a couch in it. He couldn’t remember anything else at all.
        
He wondered how Creevey had gotten into the party, as he was sure that he was the one who had taken the photo. And Weasley had to have been there too. Creevey would never have the bollocks to do something so dastardly on his own. Weasley, however, didn’t seem to be as innocent as everyone thought she was. She must have taken Potter’s invisibility cloak. But how had she managed to get him to kiss Crabbe? He had looked straight at the camera, how had he not known they were there? She had to have altered it somehow. He’d heard such things could be done, but he had no idea how.
        
Earlier in the day he’d come up with an idea on how to get her back. He planned on getting pictures of her in a compromising position. Give her a dose of her own medicine. He just didn’t know quite how, yet. It was too bad he didn’t have an invisibility cloak and camera of his own. He could only imagine the trouble he could cause. He’d start off in the girl’s showers. Weasley showering, now that would be a compromising photo.
        
There, he thought happily. Now that was a truly hetero thought, even if it did contain a Weasley.
       
He drifted off to sleep and was only slightly disconcerted that his thoughts kept drifting back to Ginny Weasley in the shower.

~*~*~
A Little Revenge by Yazethet
Disclaimer: JK Rowling created this world. I just wreak havoc in it.

Chapter 4

A Little Revenge

~*~

 
Earlier that morning, Draco awoke, as usual, to the sound of Crabbe and Goyle snoring loudly. He was getting dressed and was almost ready to leave for breakfast when he glanced at the camera on Blaise’s nightstand. He had almost forgotten that he had seen Blaise unwrap it the morning after term started. It had been his birthday present from his mother, along with a book about photo developing spells.
              
Draco grabbed the camera and quickly formulated a plan. It wouldn’t be much to start with, but it was something. It was less than a week into term so he’d have the rest of the year to come up with even better ways to get back at Weasley. He just hoped this would be enough to let her know that he intended on paying her back, with interest. He checked to make sure the camera was loaded, grabbed his wand, and then went down to breakfast.
              
He was going to need to get Ginny alone for just a few minutes so he was going to have to get someone to distract Colin and thought immediately of Blaise.

~*~*~


Ginny went to breakfast early. She had hoped she’d be alone for a few minutes because she needed some time to think. Colin’s words from the night before echoed in her head and she wished that she could just forget he had even brought it up. She was irritated with Malfoy, not jealous that he was going to meet some random girl. Again, she insisted to herself that there was no reason to even like Malfoy in the first place. She was blackmailing him because he was an insufferable git.
              
Still, she found herself scanning the Great Hall for the possible random Ravenclaw girl that Malfoy had supposedly met up with last night. She hoped the potion lasted long enough to ruin his entire evening. As she was scanning the sparsely populated Ravenclaw table she caught the sight of Draco Malfoy at the Slytherin table just a little further across the room. He appeared to be staring at her and was not in a good temper. She felt slightly better about that. It could only mean that she was successful in ruining his date and somehow he knew what she had done. Good.
              
She finished her breakfast and got up to leave the Great Hall and had planned to take a little walk around the lake. As she headed out the doors of the Great Hall someone grabbed her arm. She turned around and met a set a grey eyes.
              
“I’ve got answers for Creevey. Meet me in the same classroom after lunch.”
              
“Fine.”
              
Draco nodded and then continued down the hall.
              
Ginny was a bit disturbed by the short exchange. He seemed anxious. She was impressed at how quickly he worked. She honestly hadn’t expected an answer until next week.

~*~*~

              
At lunch Ginny had informed Colin that Draco had news about Blaise and they were to meet back in the classroom. They finished their meal quickly when they noted that Draco was not at lunch.
              
As they left the Great Hall Blaise Zabini approached them.
              
“He’s coming this way,” Colin said nervously. “Do you think Malfoy told him anything?”
              
“I told him to be discreet. If he wasn’t, then those pictures are going to be plastered all over the school by dinner.”
              
“Creevey, wait up!” Blaise had almost caught up to them. “I have a question for you.”
              
Colin looked as if he was about to die, but Blaise didn’t appear upset in any way. Ginny almost felt bad. She was going to kill Malfoy if he embarrassed Colin.
              
“Do you need me to stay? Or should I go kill Malfoy now?”
              
Colin took a deep breath. “Go find him, I think I’ll be okay. He doesn’t look as if he wants to hex me or anything, maybe he really does have a question.”
              
Ginny nodded and headed off to the classroom.
              
When she entered the door slammed shut behind her, she heard a click as it locked. Malfoy was standing near the opposite wall with a smug look on his face.
              
Ginny drew her wand as she walked toward him. She didn’t realize he had already drawn his.
              
“Malfoy, what the hell do you think -”
              
Expelliarmus!” Malfoy had quickly plucked her wand out of the air before she could lunge to grab it again. He smirked at her.
              
“If you want it, Weasley, come and get it,” he taunted as he held her wand out. She stormed across the room ready to ready to punch him but, again, he was too quick for her as he grabbed her wrist forcing her arm down by her side. He flicked his wand and muttered a spell that Ginny had never heard before. He then pulled her close to him with his other arm and pressed his lips on hers. She immediately tried to struggle but he held her wrist and had trapped her arm in a forced embrace. She tried to move her lips away from his but found that her lips were not obeying the screaming in her head that was saying this was wrong! Oh so wrong! But, for one moment, she decided to let it happen. Hell, she was curious. She allowed his tongue to explore her mouth without resistance. Once she stopped fighting he softened kiss slightly and she allowed herself to return it finding that kissing Draco Malfoy was definitely a pleasurable act.
              
Ginny felt his hand flick again as he continued to move his mouth over hers and she saw a flash of light and the click of a camera. She returned to resisting him but he held her in position for just a little longer. She was still slightly weak from the incredible kiss, which allowed enough time for the photo to be taken. When she finally wrenched herself away from his grasp she pulled back and forgot about trying to punch Draco Malfoy. She raised her knee with a good amount of force and it connected with just the right area. Draco doubled over in pain.
              
She didn’t know how, but he still managed to summon the camera to him before Ginny even realized where it had been located.
              
“Give me the camera, Malfoy,” she said icily, still slightly breathless from the kiss.
              
Draco was still doubled over in pain and groaning quietly, but he managed to shake his head no. She wanted to hex him but he still had her wand. He tried to straighten up, but the pain was still too great so he bent over for a moment longer until the pain subsided.
              
“Give me the camera or I’ll do it again!” she threatened. “And give me my wand.”
              
“No,” he finally managed to say. She saw that between groans of pain he was actually laughing. He had the nerve to be laughing at her in his state! Ginny was sorely tempted break his nose.
              
“Colin will be back any moment and I’ll have him hex you!” She was actually beginning to wonder where Colin was. Surely he would have finished answering whatever question Blaise had, unless, of course, the two had more to discuss than the answer to one question. She suddenly wished that she had stuck around to see what the two had to talk about.
              
Draco finally was able to stand up straight and pointed his wand at himself muttering a charm to relieve some of the ache. “Accio chair,” he said obviously still in some pain. One of the chairs stacked in the corner made it’s way over to him. He sat in it still holding the camera and both wands in his hands.
              
“Where is your partner in crime anyway?” He said with a somewhat pained smirk.
              
“Give me my wand,” she said, dangerously now. “And the camera.”
              
“I don’t think so, Weasley,” he replied still smirking.
              
“Fine,” she said turning to leave. When she reached the door, however she found that it was locked magically and she had no wand to unlock it. She was going to murder him. How the hell had she managed to get herself in this predicament? She was supposed to be the one with the upper hand here. She turned around and faced him. “ You can’t keep me locked in here forever, Malfoy. Colin will come looking for me and when he gets me out of here those wonderful little photos of you and Crabbe will be plastered all over this school.”
              
“I doubt that,” he said. It was apparent that the pain had subsided completely. “You see, now I have evidence of you and I kissing. If your pictures start popping up everywhere then so will this one, along with a rumor that you’re the angry girl who wanted revenge because she allowed a Malfoy to ruin her virtue.”
              
Ginny’s eyes widened in horror and then narrowed in anger. “You wouldn’t dare.”
              
“I believe I would. So go ahead, plaster your photos everywhere, but you’ll be the one to suffer, not me.”
              
He couldn’t have possible just turned the tables on her. She was infuriated. Words couldn’t express her anger. She was the one in control and for a few glorious days she had Malfoy practically cowering in her presence. Now she was at a loss for what to do. Her mind was still reeling from the kiss he had forced her into and from the frustration she felt from losing control and her wand (not to mention her dignity) to Malfoy. She couldn’t think clearly. Ginny forced herself to calm down. She was going to find a way to get him back.
              
“You are an insufferable git.” It was lame, but at the moment it was the best she could do.
              
“You’re the one who started this, remember? I told you paybacks are hell, didn’t I? You, Weasley, wanted to play this game.”
              
He was right. She was the one who started it. But she had very good reason. He had made enough people miserable with his mere presence. It was time someone had done something about it. She had decided to take it upon herself to put the arrogant bastard in his place.
              
“And you, Malfoy, are playing with fire,” she replied smoothly. She was not going to let him get away with this. Not by a long shot.

~*~*~

              
Draco raised his eyebrows at her reply. Only a moment ago she had been on the verge of losing self-control and here she was calmly telling him that he was playing with fire! For some reason he didn’t doubt that he was indeed playing with fire. He was impressed; there was no denying that.
              
Draco was still slightly bewildered at the combinations of feelings he was currently having. He had intended only to keep her from blackmailing him further. He had kissed plenty of girls so kissing Weasley shouldn’t have been anything special. If anything, he should have wanted to perform a mouth cleansing spell afterward. She had fought at first, but he had expected that. Then she had stopped resisting, for only a moment. And for that moment he felt waves of pleasure rippling throughout his body, from a single kiss. He almost forgot to set the camera off.
              
He was glad that he was still capable of enjoying a kiss from a girl, but why such a reaction from kissing Weasley? He couldn’t remember ever feeling quite this light-headed from a single kiss from any other girl. He wondered if it might be that he had failed to enjoy Marietta yesterday. It was probably just relief that he wasn’t confused about his preference. He’d just had an off day the day before. And the party didn’t count. He was drunk and couldn’t remember anything so that didn’t count. Not that anything actually happened. He was still going to need to find out how she had pulled that off.
              
He was almost glad when Weasley had broken the kiss, because he couldn’t seem to bring himself to do it. He had managed to hold her long enough to get the picture he needed. Then she had kneed him in the groin. He came crashing back to reality. He should have been pissed. He should have been ready to throttle her for having the gall to do such a thing. He should have been enraged, but he had honestly deserved it, especially for enjoying that damned kiss so much. She had quickly figured out what he had done, but not quickly enough to grab the camera as it zoomed into his hands.
              
And now here they were. He had her wand and the camera with the picture that he needed. He was sure that she would hex him if he returned her wand now. He knew she was capable of a hellacious Bat-Bogey Hex and would rather not be on the receiving end of that one again. He was sure that Creevey wouldn’t be returning anytime soon as he told Blaise that he would inform him who his crush was if he would keep him occupied for the entire free period. It turned out that Blaise had been trying to work up the nerve to ask Creevey out for several months and was overjoyed at the task of distracting him.
              
He thought that Ginny would back down after seeing that he meant business, but by the look in her eyes he saw that she had no intention of doing so. It was clear that the game was going to continue. She wasn’t going to call it even and let it go. She looked determined to one-up him.
              
“If you want your wand back then meet me at the dungeon entrance after dinner,” he finally said with a smirk. He got up and unlocked the door. “After you,” he said as he opened the door.
              
Ginny glared at him and then smirked. “So no date this evening? What happened? Did she dump you? I guess you must not have been man enough for her.”
              
All Draco could do was stare at her in disbelief. She walked out the classroom before he had the chance to even think of a reply. She had known, but how? Maybe Marietta had said something. Or maybe he was just being paranoid. But by the look in her eyes he could tell that she knew something. She had purposely brought it up. How did she keep doing this to him?
              
Draco wanted to beat his head against a wall. Why, oh why, did he have to kiss her? It was only supposed to be for the stupid picture. He wasn’t supposed to actually enjoy it. Yes, he had been curious, but what guy at Hogwart’s wasn’t? But she was a damned Weasley, for Merlin’s sake!
              
He now desperately needed another chance to lay his lips on hers because now he was really curious. What would it be like to really kiss her, without resistance? He’d only gotten a little taste of it. Was it some fluke that she had sent tingles up and down his spine? He had to know. The only problem was getting her to kiss him again, willingly.
              
Gods, he wasn’t even supposed to be thinking about it. He should be wondering how she had taken the photo of him and Crabbe. Or how the hell she had known about his little problem with Marietta yesterday.
              
He had been impressed that she had been so bold as to try to blackmail him in the first place. He could see why she was a Gryffindor; she had to be brave to stand up to him. But the way she was going about it was so bloody Slytherin it was scary, yet alluring.

Why did she have to be a Weasley?
              
Then again, what was so bad about her being a Weasley? Sure, he had grown up detesting the Weasleys. That had been his father’s doing. His father had claimed that some wizarding families were better than others. So why was his father the one in Azkaban? Surely there was nothing respectable about that. He had single handedly tarnished the Malfoy name.
              
His father had told him over and over that the Malfoy named commanded respect and that he should be careful whom he associated with. His father was a damned hypocrite! He thought about sending his father the picture of him kissing Weasley along with a letter asking him whether he thought their children would have red hair or blonde?
              
He spent the summer outraged at his father for lying to him and never telling him about being a Death Eater. Initially he had taken his anger out on Potter when he first found out and told him that his father would be out of Azkaban soon. Now, however he hoped his father rotted there. (Well, he didn’t really want him to rot, a part of him still loved his father, but he was still working with his Headhealer about those issues.) Still, what would his father think? He was seriously tempted to send the photo.
              
He was sure his next session with his Headhealer was going to be a long one.
~*~*~
Temper and Truth by Yazethet
Disclaimer: JK Rowling created this world. I just wreak havoc in it.

Chapter 5

Temper and Truth

~*~

“Gin! I’ve got the greatest news. But you have to swear - ”

“Where the hell were you!” Ginny interrupted before Colin could get another word out.

She had searched for Colin until her free period was over and then she headed to Ancient Runes, which was not a class she shared with Colin. She had spent the entire class period fuming about her meeting with Malfoy. She was going to kill him. When she couldn’t find Colin afterwards she decided she might have to maim her best friend. She found him in the common room just before dinner.

"What do you mean? I just got - ”

“I meant after lunch. The meeting with Malfoy, remember?”

“Oh, that. Well, that’s what I was going to tell you. I don’t need the information anymore. Blaise and I had a little talk this afternoon. He said he just got a camera for his birthday. He wants to know everything I know about photography! And he said Malfoy told him to ask me - ”

“Why that sneaky, Slytherin, son-of-a-” she started as it dawned on her exactly how Malfoy had gotten her alone.

“Blaise said Malfoy wanted to talk to you anyway. What was it he wanted to talk to you about? Was he insanely mad about that Edgecomb girl? I told Blaise what you had done and he thought it was an absolute riot!”

Colin was speaking excitedly and Ginny was beginning to wonder what all the two had discussed. Suddenly she wasn't sure she wanted to tell Colin what had transpired in the classroom. He seemed so excited about finally talking to Blaise and she was being a bit selfish. She should be asking Colin about his prospective boyfriend. But what was this about the Edgecomb girl?

“So you and Zabini are getting on well then?”

Colin grinned at her. She could see that he was blushing slightly.

“So far so good. Nobody else knows about him yet, so you have to swear not to say anything. The only other person who knows is Malfoy and Blaise said he just told Malfoy last night even though they've been friends for years! And the only reason he told Malfoy was because he thought Malfoy was coming out!”

“He thought Malfoy was gay? What made him think Malfoy was gay?” Ginny finally cracked a smile.

Colin was starting to laugh now. “That's what I asked him. He said that Malfoy was acting really strange last night after his little meeting with Edgecomb, said something about being 'unsatisfied' with her.”

“Oh god! She was the Ravenclaw he was meeting with after detention yesterday! After I -”

“Exactly! So that's when I had to tell Blaise what you'd done to him.

“Well, the prat deserved it.”

“Not that I don't agree with you there, but one still has to wonder -” Colin started with a mischievous grin.

“Don't even start, Colin Creevey. I don't even like the git. Why would I be jealous of his little snogging session with the Ravenclaw? He's not even a good kisser!” Oops. She shouldn't have said that. Oh how she wished she could grab those words and stuff them right back into her mouth. “N-not that I would know.”

It was too late; Colin had already caught her mistake and looked very interested.

“What's this about Malfoy's kissing ability, or lack thereof?”

She sighed. Why didn't she just keep her mouth shut? At least she had lied and said he was a bad kisser.

“While you were traipsing off with your new boyfriend, Malfoy decided to get me back for blackmailing him.”

“And what does this have to do with kissing Malfoy?”

“He took a picture of us kissing and then threatened to spread nasty rumors about me,” she said bitterly.

“Taking a page out of Ginevra Weasley’s Book of Blackmail, is he?” Colin said, obviously amused.

“It’s not funny.”

“And how, pray tell, did your lips end up on his in the first place?” he asked with a bemused smirk fixed upon his mouth.

“For your information,” she replied, not liking the look Colin was giving her, “he forced his lips on mine and he got a knee in the bollocks for it.”

“You didn’t!”

“I did.”

“Gin, that’s just so - so - evil! I almost feel sorry for Malfoy.” He was appalled but he was still laughing.

“You shouldn’t. He’s a sneaky, Slytherin git and he deserves everything that’s coming to him.”

“So I take it you aren’t going to call it even and let it go at that?”

“What do you mean ‘call it even’? We’re far from being even.”

“You’re blackmailing him, he’s blackmailing you. Wouldn’t you call that even? Actually, you’ve kneed him in the bollocks, and lets not forget yesterday’s potion incident. I think you’re two up on him.”

“I thought you were all for Malfoy getting what was coming to him. What happened to that? You helped me get that photo.”

“Yes, but...”

“But what?”

“Well, I thought the photo would be enough for the year. And maybe he isn’t all that bad. After all, Blaise is friends with him and, well, he can be an arrogant prig, but...”

“I can’t believe what I’m hearing! Since when are you such a Malfoy supporter? Wait, this is because of Blaise, isn’t it? You’ve known him for, what, a whole hour? And you’re ready to take his word that Malfoy isn’t all that bad?” Ginny was losing her temper now. “If he’s such good friends with Malfoy then maybe you shouldn’t trust him. How do you know he spent his whole free period chatting it up with you because Malfoy sent him to keep you busy so you wouldn’t follow me to the classroom.”

“So you don't think it’s just possible that Blaise may actually like me? You think he's just another one of Malfoy's cronies doing his bidding? I don't think you're even giving him a chance. You were the one who told me to go for it with Blaise.” Colin was angry, but as always he remained calm.

Ginny was incensed. She couldn't believe her own best friend was lecturing her on giving a bloody Slytherin a chance! She knew she was being a bit irrational but she felt like Colin was being a traitor. Her fury with Malfoy was renewed and it was not helping that her best friend was practically siding with him.

“Fine,” she said as she turned on her heel and walked back through the portrait to go to dinner. She chose to ignore him as he called after her, but she was irate and didn't want to argue with Colin anymore. She picked a poor time to have an argument with him as she had wanted him to accompany her to get her wand and they both could throw a few hexes at him, but Colin didn't seem interested in aggravating Malfoy anymore now that he and Blaise had finally gotten together. It was now a personal vendetta. She didn't need Colin to help her. She was perfectly capable of handling Malfoy all on her own.

She sat quietly at dinner occasionally glaring at Colin who was sitting with his brother Dennis. She was sitting across from Hermione who was discussing something about Hagrid with Ron and Harry. As usual they were talking about something that apparently didn't involve her. She was glad for once because she wasn't in the mood to speak to anyone. Hermione had asked her briefly whether she had a row with Colin to which she replied with a sharp yes. Hermione had taken the hint not to ask, but gave her a sympathetic look. She was grateful at first but she noticed that Colin had also received a sympathetic look so she decided she wasn't speaking to Hermione for the rest of dinner.

She got up to leave dinner early and told Ron and Harry that she’d be a little late meeting them out on the pitch. They were so engrossed in their conversation that they barely acknowledge she had even spoken. Ron just nodded his head and said, “Later, Gin.”

“If I’m not out there in fifteen minutes you can find Malfoy and kill him. It’ll be his fault,” she decided to add as she walked away. She caught Ron’s look on bewilderment and noticed he was about to get up but Harry said something to catch his attention again. Malfoy had already left the Great Hall as he was nowhere to be seen. She went straight to the dungeons.

Malfoy was waiting, smirking as always. She wanted to tear the smirk right off his face.

“My wand, Malfoy.”

“In a hurry, are you?” he drawled.

“Yes. Ron and Harry are expecting me and if I don’t show up in twelve minutes they will come looking for you, so I’d suggest you hand over my wand. Now.”

He pulled the wand from an inside pocket of his robes but didn't hand it to her. He began twirling it expertly through his fingers. “And what would I get in return?”

“I’ll tell you what you’ll get if you don’t return it. I’ll - ”

“Am I interrupting anything, Mr. Malfoy? Miss Weasley?”

Professor Snape had just returned from dinner.

“Not at all, Professor. I was just returning Weasley’s wand. She left it behind in one of her classes.” Malfoy continued to smirk.

“How very kind of you, Mr. Malfoy,” he said though she was sure he didn’t really mean it. She was almost sure that he knew very well that Malfoy didn’t just happened across her wand and was being so generous as to return it.

“Right,” she said as she glared at Malfoy. He handed her the wand, the smirk still glued to his face. Snape then turned to her.

“Have you given any thought to what we discussed yesterday?”

“Yes. I would like to be in Advanced Potions.”

“I thought so. Very well, Miss Weasley. We shall see you on Tuesday then.” He nodded to her and then Malfoy and continued to his classroom. She too decided it would be best to leave before she was too tempted to hex Malfoy. She didn’t need another detention.

~*~*~



“What was that about Malfoy?” Ron had asked her when she reached the pitch. “We were just about to come looking for you.”

“It was nothing. Shall we practice now?” she said as she mounted Fred’s old Cleansweep.

“Are you sure, Gin? If he’s bugging you we’ll go hex him for you. I’m sure we can get some of the DA members together and we can turn him back into a slug,” suggested Harry. Ginny smiled slightly. It was nice to know they cared.

“I’m fine. Really,” she replied genuinely this time. “Now I’m ready for a go around the pitch.”

“So are you still trying for Chaser?” Harry said getting a Quaffle out.

“No. I’ ve decided to try for Beater.” Harry and Ron both gave her odd looks. She grabbed the club Harry had pulled out for her and then she kicked off. Harry mounted his Firebolt and started flying circles around her.

“Okay, let’s see what you can do. Keep the Bludger away from me.”

She nodded and Ron released one of the Bludgers. It zoomed straight toward Harry but she quickly cut it off. Her club connected directly with it and the Bludger went flying straight into the stands. Harry and Ron stared at her in astonishment as she repeated this over and over again. The force that she struck it with was immense, especially for someone with such a small frame. Her Cleansweep wasn’t nearly as graceful as Harry’s Firebolt, but she managed to outmaneuver the Bludger each and every time and she sent the ball flying straight to the same spot in the stands again and again. Harry motioned for them to land.

“That was amazing, Ginny!” Harry said his eyes wide with excitement.

“Bloody brilliant!” was Ron’s ecstatic comment. “You’re almost as good as the twins!”

“So do you think I might have a shot at one of the Beater positions?”

“Where did you learn all that?” Harry asked. “When we played over the summer you were practicing as a Chaser.”

She shrugged. “Sometimes Fred and George practiced a bit with me over the weekends during the summer holidays.” She failed to mention that it helped imagining that the Bludger was Malfoy’s head and the spot she was aiming at in the stands was where she imagined his body to be.

~*~*~


Draco was impressed. Again. The little Weasel never ceased to amaze him. She was going to be in Advanced Potions and she hadn’t even taken her OWLs yet! Somehow she had impressed Snape. Advanced Potions students were selected strictly by Professor Snape. Only students he felt showed true potential and talent with potions were invited to the class. Most students didn’t even know it existed, as it wasn’t part of the normal curriculum. Not that many cared anyway.

Draco, of course, had been invited to take the class after he had received an Outstanding on his OWL. Like all advanced classes, it started a week into term in order to allow schedule changes to be made and to determine when would be the best time for the few who were invited to the class to take it.

He wondered exactly how she managed it seeing as how she had been in detention just last night for not making the Draught of Peace correctly. Surely Snape wouldn’t allow her into Advanced Potions if she weren’t capable of creating the types of advanced concoctions they would be producing.

He needed to know more about her.

He had resigned to the fact that he found her fascinating. He knew he should still be furious with her for the photo and for the knee to the groin. She obviously detested him. It made absolutely no sense for him to be thinking so much about the volatile redhead.

She wasn’t the most gorgeous girl at Hogwart’s, but she was attractive enough. She didn’t seem to wear layers upon layers of cosmetics nor did she seem to use blemish-removing charms to try to make her freckles disappear as many girls had a tendency to do. Her beauty was subtle but natural. But her looks weren’t the only reason so many boys at Hogwart’s found her so attractive. It was that she had an air of confidence about her. If she was insecure at all she hid it well.

He wondered why Potter hadn’t noticed her. He knew Potter had been busy ogling Cho Chang, who had an exotic beauty. But from Draco’s experience she wasn’t much of a kisser (then again, suddenly nobody was much of a kisser since this afternoon) and she was a bit prudish. He wondered if Potter had ever kissed Ginevra Weasley. He felt jealous at the thought, which confirmed the fact that he might actually have feelings for the littlest Weasel.

He decided that he would take his Headhealer’s advice and accept those feelings. For years his father had taught him to deny his feelings. Well, bully to his father! He liked her. There, he admitted it. At least to himself. The problem now was going to be getting her to like him. Or maybe it would be better just to keep it to himself. Maybe his Headhealer’s advice wasn’t so good. Denial was much easier.
~*~*~
The Bet by Yazethet
Chapter 6

The Bet

~*~


Upon returning to the common room, Ginny was disappointed that Colin was nowhere in sight. She felt terrible about the argument they'd had earlier and wanted to apologize. She would have gone to his room, however, it was late and she was exhausted. It had been a long day and she hoped that a good night’s rest would improve her mood.

Once she finally crawled into bed she found that sleep did not come as easily as she had hoped. Guilt plagued her. Her irrationality toward Colin was only because Malfoy had made her paranoid. First thing in the morning she was going to straighten things out with Colin.

Ginny's mind began to wander back to the empty classroom that afternoon. The last thing she had expected was that kiss. She should have listened to Hermione. She had told her to be careful around Malfoy, but she had felt sure that Malfoy wouldn’t dare try anything. Obviously, she had underestimated him.

She was going to have to find some way to get back at him.

Her determination to become a Beater had increased tenfold simply so she could have a valid excuse to cause him bodily harm. She just hoped she would get the opportunity to send a Bludger directly at his face and permanently remove that damned smirk of his! Though, it would be a terrible waste. He did have some nice features. But that was beside the point. He was an excruciatingly arrogant Slytherin and she didn’t care how good-looking he was. Or how good of a kisser he was. Not that she really thought about it. Much.

She groaned and buried her face in her pillow. There was no plausible explanation for it. No reason that she should be thinking about him. Or the kiss. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t been kissed before.

There was Colin, who had kissed her during second year before he had come out of the closet, but that had been disastrous. Thankfully, they were able to get past that whole incident and became best friends. Then there was Neville, though she really didn’t think a nervous peck on the lips could really be considered much of a kiss to compare anything to. And Michael was a little sloppy to be honest. It was as if he didn’t quite know what to do with his tongue. Then there was Dean who hadn’t been that bad, but they had really only kissed once before deciding to call it quits over the summer. She wasn’t all that sorry about it. She knew he had a thing for Lavender and when she started showing interest Ginny felt it best to let him go. She hadn’t felt much of a connection with him anyway.

That was about the extent of her experience. She was beginning to wonder what was so wonderful about snogging because all of her attempts at it seemed lacking in one way or another.

And then there was the kiss with Malfoy.

Gods, it was no wonder that she couldn’t stop thinking about it. There had been a serious lack of skill with all her prior experiences. Malfoy had probably already snogged half of Hogwart’s female population. He was probably well versed in making girls swoon over his kisses. Surely, that would explain why she had felt like he had taken her breath away with one ridiculous kiss.

~*~*~

“Colin, wait up!” Ginny had woken up slightly late that morning after having a bad night’s sleep, but she was determined to apologize to her best friend for her behavior. He had just gone through the portrait and was on his way to breakfast. She rushed across the common room and through the portrait to catch up with him. On the other side she found Colin waiting, his arms folded across his chest. He was still upset with her.

“Colin, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lash out at you like that last night. I was just so upset about what Malfoy had done and I know I had no right to say anything about Zabini -”

“Gin, it’s okay,” he said as his expression softened. “I wasn’t being entirely supportive either, I suppose. I know it seems like I barely know Blaise, but we really had a good talk yesterday. I really don’t think he had any idea what Malfoy was up to. It’s just that Blaise asked me out this weekend and well, you were kind of ruining it for me.”

“I know. I really am sorry, Colin,” she said sincerely.

“Well, then. Shall we have some breakfast? You know, I love my brother, but it’s just not the same eating with him and his friends. I think meals would get rather boring if I had to dine with him every day.” He grinned at her indicating that their argument was over. They could never stay mad at each other for very long.

~*~*~

Draco was perplexed. He'd never actually had to try to get a girl to like him before. Usually all he had to do was turn on the Malfoy charm and girls would be giggling happily at the fact that he had even taken the time to speak with them.

Ginny was a different matter.

For years he had made it clear that he thought all Weasleys were detestable. She had made it obvious that she did not like him. In fact, this year she made it her personal business to try to make his life miserable. So why was he even bothering?

He sat at breakfast staring at her from across the Great Hall. He was barely touching his food. He hardly noticed when Blaise sat down across from him.

Blaise said nothing for a while. He just studied the puzzled expression on Draco’s face and then followed his gaze to the redhead across the room. He gave Draco a look of confusion, which the blond didn’t even acknowledge. His eyes seemed to be glued to his target.

Blaise cleared his throat. “I spoke to Colin yesterday. He gave me some good tips on photo development spells. I can develop those photos you took yesterday for you, if you’d like.”

“Hmm?” Draco muttered, his gaze still fixed on Ginny. Blaise looked across the room and saw that Ginny was oblivious to the fact that she was being gawked at. He looked back at Draco with an amused smile.

“Would you like me to take a picture for you? It would be safer, you know. The picture wouldn’t want to claw your eyes out if it found you staring at it.”

“What are you going on about?” Draco had only caught the last part of what he had said. His perplexed look was replaced by an annoyed frown. “I’m not staring.”

“Of course not,” Blaise said clearly amused. “I just wanted to know if you wanted me to develop those photos you took with my camera yesterday.”

“Oh. Sure,” he said distracted again. Then realizing what photos Blaise was speaking about he changed his mind. “Never mind, I think I’d prefer to develop them myself.”

“Oh?”

Draco returned his focus to Blaise.

“So, how did it go with Creevey yesterday?” Not that he really wanted to know the particulars, but Creevey was apparently Ginny’s best friend and that was a start.

Blaise gave him an odd look, but he decided to go ahead and tell him about Colin. He was dying to tell someone and Draco was the only other person who really knew about him. “Well, we have a lot in common, actually. And he’s the most optimistic person I know. He’s got a great sense of humor. And the most beautiful blue eyes,” he said dreamily. Draco suddenly felt uncomfortable. He was still getting used to the idea that his friend was gay. Blaise sensed this and turned the subject back to Colin’s sense of humor.

“He had me laughing a good part of free period yesterday,” he smiled. “He was telling me about what Weasley had done,” he began and then stopped, not sure he should continue.

Draco gave him a look of suspicion. “What did Gi- uh, Weasley do?” He tried not to look too interested. He hoped that Creevey hadn’t said anything about the picture of Crabbe, but he also didn’t want to seem too anxious about wanting to know more about Ginny. He had admitted to himself that he liked her, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to admit it to anyone else. Unfortunately, it appeared that Blaise seemed to pick up that something was definitely going on. He was giving him an amused smile again.

“I’m not sure I should tell you,” he said chortling slightly. But the look of panic on Draco’ s face made him change his mind. “Well, if you really want to know, I’ll tell you. But you’d better not kill Weasley. Colin thinks very highly of her and I’d hate for him to have any reason to hate me.”

“Fine,” Draco agreed readily.

“Remember the potion that she dumped on you during her detention?”

“What about it?”

“Do you recall the ingredients used in that potion that she was supposed to be making?

“It was the Draught of Peace, of course I know what ingredients are involved in creating it.” Draco was becoming impatient.

“Do you also recall another potion, made with the very same ingredients? The one we came across in that book, Potions of Perversions?”

Draco thought for a moment. They had flipped through it for a good laugh during fourth year. There were instructions on how to make aphrodisiacs and endurance potions, along with some concoctions that caused various interesting bodily reactions. Then he remembered that there was one that they had thought would have been funny to make and dump on Marcus Flint just before he went out on his date with some sixth year Hufflepuff. They called it the Deflation Creation because they couldn’t pronounce the actual name of the potion, and he was almost positive it required most of the same ingredients required for the Draught of Peace.

“She didn’t,” he said in disbelief.

Blaise was laughing at him now. “I’m sorry, mate, but she did. Or so Colin told me. I guess you would be the one to know for sure. I swear I won’t tell anyone though,” he said still laughing.

“You’d better not,” Draco said in an attempt at anger, though he was starting to laugh along with his friend. Again, he should have been furious with her, but he was so relieved that it was just a potion had been the cause of his problem that day.

“I can’t believe your laughing about this. I thought you’d be furious!”

“I should be,” he sighed. He didn’t explain himself any further. “Did you know she’s going to be in our Advanced Potions class? If she was able to concoct that potion on a whim it’s no wonder she’s skipping fifth year potions.”

Blaise detected the hint of admiration in his voice, but chose not to point it out. Draco still kept glancing in her direction until the bell rang indicating breakfast was over.

~*~*~

It was a beautiful Saturday morning and Ginny was in the mood to fly. She grabbed the Cleansweep and headed out to the pitch. It was early and it was a weekend so she had the whole arena to herself.

She ran through some of the drills the twins had taught her over the summer and then just worked on various maneuvers on the broom. Her broom wasn't the best so she had to learn to compensate where the equipment was lacking. She practiced figure eights over and over to see if she could tighten her turn radius a bit. Then she practiced diving. She was nowhere near as good as Harry, but she was quite pleased with her own ability, especially on an older model Cleansweep. The tryouts would be Friday and she felt that if she could get out the pitch a couple more times during the week she would be able to make the team.

Ginny became aware that Malfoy was watching her from below just as she was finishing up. She now wished that she had taken the Bludgers out to practice. He would have made a great target. Touching down, she dismounted her broom and glared at him.

“Not bad, Weasley,” he said casually.

“What the hell are you doing here, Malfoy,” she returned venomously. She couldn’t believe she had heard a semi-compliment come out of his mouth with her name attached. She was waiting for the insult.

“I believe the pitch is available to anyone prior to tryouts. I have as much right to be out here on a beautiful Saturday morning as you do.”

“Have at it. I was just leaving,” she said as she turned to leave.

“How about a little one-on-one?” he asked before she took another step. She stopped.

She had two choices. She could either decline and have him call her a coward or she could accept and have the possible pleasure of knocking him off his broom onto his arse. She turned around.

“And how do you propose we play?” She eyed him curiously.

“What position are you trying out for?”

“Beater.”

“Alright. We’ll release a Bludger and the Snitch. If you manage to get the Bludger to knock me off my broom before I catch the Snitch, you win. If I catch the Snitch first, I win.”

“Perfect,” Ginny replied. “Prepare to lose, Malfoy.”

“That confident in your abilities, are you? Care to wager on it?” he smiled deviously.

Ginny wasn’t that sure about her abilities. Malfoy had been Seeker for his team since his second year. He had experience and Ginny knew that despite losing to Harry again and again, Malfoy was actually rather good. He also had a Nimbus 2001, which was not quite a Firebolt, but was a far better broom than her own. She wasn’t sure her skill as a Beater matched his as a Seeker.

“You have a picture that I want you to make disappear -” Draco started.

“As if I’d let that masterpiece vanish into thin air,” Ginny interjected smugly. Then she realized that could have been her chance to rid herself of photo that Malfoy had on her. Before she could retract her comment he had already come up with a new idea.

“Alright then,” he was smiling again. He didn’t even make an attempt at an argument. Ginny wasn’t sure his next suggestion would be any better. “If you win I will give you my broom.”

Ginny wasn’t sure she heard him correctly. “Your broom? As in the Nimbus 2001 that you are currently holding in your hand?”

“Yes.”

Ginny’s eyes narrowed. “And what if you win?”

Draco thought for a moment. He was surprised that she had automatically nixed the idea of getting rid of the incriminating photos. As nice as it would have been to not have to worry about the photo he found that a much more interesting wager could be made. He wondered if he even dared. He really had no idea how good she actually was so it was probably best that he had come up with this new idea. If he did lose the broom wouldn’t be difficult to replace. He’d simply ask his mother to order him a new one, which he was meaning to do anyway. But if he won...he smiled.

“If I win, you have to spend the first Hogsmead weekend with me.”

“What?” she said incredulously. His Nimbus 2001 against her spending a day with him in Hogsmead. It was preposterous. A new broom would be nice. A Nimbus 2001 was too good to be true. But the possibility of spending the day with Malfoy? Was it worth that? Why would he even ask?

“You are probably getting the better end of the deal. Either way you win, you see. You’d get a new broom or you get to spend time in my illustrious presence,” he said with an air of conceit. It made Ginny’s blood boil.

He probably just wanted to make sure his story was believable if he did ever let that photo of them kissing surface. Then again, he might spend the whole day trying to find new ways of humiliating her. Why else would he allow himself to be in the presence of a Weasley?

“Well?” he asked patiently waiting for her answer. She knew she should have just walked away. But, a new broom would be nice. And if she lost then Malfoy had another thing coming to him. She would make sure he would be the one suffering through the Hogsmeade visit.

“You’re on,” she said as she mounted her broom.

~*~*~
The Winner by Yazethet
Chapter 7

The Winner

~*~


Draco released the Bludger and the Snitch and then on the count of three they both kicked off the ground. Ginny sped after the Bludger while Draco began searching for the Snitch.

Ginny caught up with the Bludger quickly and sent it zooming in Draco’s direction. He barely dodged it before Ginny had repositioned herself on the other side of him ready to send the Bludger flying at him again.

Sweet Salazar, she’s quick! Draco thought with admiration. She had been a decent Seeker the year before, but she had obviously practiced a great deal over the summer. He took a dive avoiding the Bludger yet again. He had just started looking for the flicker of gold again when it came flying at him. He was spending all his time dodging the Bludger and wasn’t getting any seeking done. She was hitting them at him with pure determination. Both her speed and accuracy were amazing. Draco was going to need to outmaneuver both her and the Bludger for a time and wear her out.

He honestly hadn’t expected her to be this good. Losing his broom wouldn’t be a big deal, especially since he wouldn’t have to explain it to his father, but he was determined to win so she would go to Hogsmeade with him. If she wasn’t going to do so willingly then this would be the next best thing. She wasn’t exactly being forced into it as it had been her own decision to take the bet, though he had been just a little manipulative by offering her the broom if she won. But if he didn’t find the Snitch soon he was going to have to come up with another way to get her to spend some time with him.

She was able to redirect the Bludger in his direction no matter where it or he was located in the field and had actually managed to clip his foot once, which had disturbed his balance for a moment. She was at a bit of a disadvantage, however. She was intersecting the Bludger quickly each time she struck it and he could tell her arm was getting tired from the constant hitting she was doing. He had been keeping his eye out for the Snitch, but spent most of his energy avoiding the Bludger and getting distance between him and Ginny so she would have to spend even more energy striking the ball in his direction.

They had spent a good hour on the pitch before Ginny was showing signs that her arm was starting to tire. They hadn’t said a word to each other the entire time, both concentrating too hard on winning.

And then it happened all at once.

Draco caught sight of the Snitch for the fourth time during the match and Ginny was chasing down the Bludger again. He shot after it, but the Bludger was only a few feet further than the Snitch. He heard Ginny’s club connect with the jet-black ball just as he reach out for the golden ball. His hand closed around the sparkling globe. A split second later, Draco felt the Bludger plow into his stomach, effectively knocking the wind out of him. Instinctively, he wrapped both arms around his middle, still holding the Snitch in his hand, but losing balance on his broom. It was fortunate he was only a few feet above the ground when the Bludger struck him so when he hit the grassy turf he didn’t actually break any bones, though he was sure there would be some good bruises along his left side. He lay there unmoving as he waited for his breath to come back.

Ginny saw his hand close around the Snitch just before the Bludger knocked him off his broom. Despite being annoyed that he had beaten her, she couldn’t help feeling satisfied that she had managed to knock him off his broom. But it had been a direct hit to the stomach and Draco was still on the ground. The elation she felt only a moment before dissipated quickly as she realized that she might have seriously injured him.

She touched down and ran to his side. “Malfoy, are you all right?” she said with a small amount of concern. “Malfoy?”

She heard a groan of agony and a little bit of satisfaction returned. He was alive, but in pain. He rolled over and was still trying to catch his breath. After normalizing his breathing, he sat up revealing the Snitch still in his hand.

“I win.”

Ginny sighed heavily. “Yes. You win. Are you bloody happy now?” She had crossed her arms, but was now starting to feel the soreness from the repetitive beating she had done trying to dismount Malfoy from his broom. She started rubbing her shoulder.

“Yes, actually. I am happy now. I have a date and I still have my broom. But you play amazingly well, Weasley. I am impressed.”

Ginny stared at him in disbelief. Again, she was waiting for the insult. It never came. “Malfoy, I think you’d better go to see Madam Pomfrey. I think you must have hit your head when you hit the ground. Or maybe it was your arse. It’s hard to tell, you know.”

“Funny,” he said, and he actually did sound amused. He picked himself up off the ground and brushed himself off. She saw him wince in pain as he moved his left arm. “I think you probably ought to come with me. You should have her take a look at your shoulder.”

“I’m fine,” she replied stubbornly.

“I’m sure you are. But it would be a shame if you didn’t’ make the team because of an injury that might just get worse if you don’t have it looked at.”

She detested that he was right.

“Coming?” he asked after he commanded his broom to return to him. He opened the trunk of Quidditch balls and placed the Snitch back in its place. Ginny summoned the Bludger and locked it in. They walked back to the castle together.

Ginny decided there was something different about him. He hadn’t insulted her. In fact, he had actually admitted to being impressed at her ability as a Beater. She was thoroughly confused. It had to be some type of ruse. He had to be up to something. She just wished she knew what.

~*~*~


“Drink this up. Both of you. You’re pain will be gone in a matter of hours, but I suggest you stay off the Quidditch pitch for a few days. Allow it heal up properly. Let me go get you each a vial to take before bed and you’re dismissed.” Madam Pomfrey bustled off to prepare a mixture for them.

Ginny stared at Draco trying to figure him out. He’d been busy complaining about the stiffness in his arm and then he looked up meeting Ginny’s eyes. They looked at each other for a moment in complete silence. Ginny could feel her heart beating a little faster. She stopped breathing for a moment and then she felt warmth rising on her cheeks. His eyes were an unusually deep shade of grey. They were entrancing.

“If you like what you see so much, Weasley, why don’t you take a picture?” Draco said seemingly pleased that she had been gawking at him.

“If you recall, Malfoy, I already have a picture and I don’t believe it’s very flattering,” she retorted, instantly snapping back to her usual self. She was glaring at him now. Her comment about the photograph didn’t seem to faze him at all. His lips curled into a conniving smile.

“True enough,” he said leaning toward her. He slowly traced her jawline with his index finger. “However, I still have a rather flattering one of you.” He curled his finger under her chin, tilting her head up just slightly. He leaned closer still. Their lips were almost touching. Ginny could feel her heart racing again. Her mind kept screaming for her to stop this nonsense. Slap him. Punch him. Kick him. Do anything to stop it. But his lips were so inviting. And she really wanted to know -

“Here we are.” Madam Pomfrey had returned with two vials and handed one to each of them.

Ginny had pulled back as soon as she heard Madam Pomfrey. She was glad for the interruption. She couldn’t believe she was just about to allow Malfoy to kiss her. Again.

Thanking Madam Pomfrey, she left quickly.

~*~*~


Draco smirked. At least he still had some charm. He had almost kissed her again. He wanted to curse Madam Promfrey for returning so soon.

He returned to the Slytherin common room and found Blaise flipping through his book about photograph developing spells. Plopping down in one of the green armchairs across from Blaise, he began staring intently into the fire.

“Did you know that during the development of a photograph you can adjust the hues of the various colors by performing a brightening or dulling charm?” Blaise said without looking up from his book.

“No. I didn’t know that,” Draco returned, boredom apparent in his voice.

“Well, one particular color I have problems with adjusting is red,” Blaise continued. “I was wondering if you could help me decide exactly how brilliant the red in this one particular photograph I’m working on should be.”

Blaise had stopped looking at his book and was giving Draco a sly smirk. Draco had stopped staring in to the fire. He had picked up on Blaise's hint. “Perhaps we should go take a look at that photo of yours,” he said quickly before Blaise could say another word.

Blaise had, of course, discovered the photo of Ginny and him kissing while trying to develop the remainder of the roll. He told Draco that he had assumed that the photos he took had already been developed. He didn’t realize that Draco had only taken one photo.

“So what exactly is it about the redhead?” Blaise asked after explaining how he had discovered the photo.

“I’m blackmailing her,” Draco confided.

“You’re blackmailing her,” Blaise repeated hesitantly. “So that is why you can’t seem to tear your eyes off of her when she is anywhere in your line of sight?”

Draco was caught. He hadn’t realized he’d been that obvious. He was grateful that Crabbe and Goyle were so dense, not that he would need to answer to them if they had asked any questions.

He decided to tell Blaise everything that had transpired in the first week of school and how he had managed to defy Malfoy tradition by actually liking a Weasley.

“And yes, I realize she despises me. But I’m working on that. Malfoy charm and all,” he finished.

“Right,” Blaise replied skeptically.

“Well, she has agreed to come to Hogsmeade with me.”

“And how did you manage that? Did she lose a bet with you?” Blaise chortled until he realized that he had guessed right.

“You’re not being very helpful here, you know. After all I’ve done to get you and Creevey together.” Draco pouted.

“Alright. Not that you didn’t benefit from it, but I’ll help you if you need it.”

“I am a Slytherin. It is my job to use every situation to its full advantage.”

“True.”

“Gods, I’m asking my gay friend advice on girls. How pathetic am I?”

“Very. And for your information your gay friends are the best people to go to for girl trouble.”

“Have I always been this pathetic?”

“No. I’ve never actually seen you this worked up over a girl. You must really like her.”

“I must be insane.”

“You are,” Blaise agreed. “But isn’t that why you’re seeing a Headhealer?”

~*~*~


Ginny was in the library trying to read. She didn’t want to talk Ron or Harry. Colin was currently out on his first date with Blaise and she was praying that Malfoy wouldn’t follow her here. She needed to talk to Colin. He would be the only one that would understand. Or maybe Hermione would be able to understand. Maybe Hermione could be the voice of reason. She was always the voice of reason.

“Ginny, you’re a prefect. You shouldn’t even be placing bets!” Maybe speaking to Hermione wasn’t a good idea. “Though I suppose at least there was no money involved.”

“That’s beside the point anyway. Why would he even ask me to Hogsmeade?”

“Maybe he fancies you,” Hermione said off-handedly.

Speaking to Hermione was definitely a bad idea.

“Hermione, this is Malfoy we’re talking about. Weasley plus Malfoy equals not-a-chance-in-hell. He’s plotting something.”

“Wait. Is this about the other day, when he was casting murderous looks at you and Colin? He’s still being civil to us, you know. What did you do to him? Not that I’m complaining, of course.”

Ginny sighed. “Let’s just say that I have a photograph that he doesn’t want me to share with the general public.”

“You’re blackmailing him!” She sounded horrified.

“No, I'm simply withholding information for personal gain."

Hermione gave her a stern look.

"Alright, I'm blackmailing him. But you have to admit, it’s effective.”

“That’s true. I’m not sure what to make of it, Gin. Though, honestly he’s been a bit odd since his father was taken to Azkaban. I hear he’s seeing a Headhealer about it.”

“Great. A mental case wants to take me to Hogsmeade and who knows what he or the voices in his head have in mind for revenge.”

“Lots of perfectly sane and respectable Wizards and Witches see Headhealers. What with the war and Voldemort and all, that’s a lot of stress. You’d think Harry would go see one with all that he’s gone through. At least Malfoy is taking responsibility for his own mental health.”

“What is with people defending Malfoy all the time!” Ginny said with exasperation.

“I wasn’t defending him. I was merely stating –”

“I know, Hermione. He’s got me paranoid, that’s all.”

“Seeing as how you’ve given him a reason to plot against you it’s not surprising.”

“You’re right. I got myself into this mess. I’ll get myself out of it. Don’t say anything to Ron or Harry about it though. Promise?”

“Gin, I didn’t mean that you should do anything on your own -”

“No. It’s okay. I can handle Malfoy. I just don’t need Harry or Ron getting into any trouble because of me. Swear you won’t mention anything?”

“Gin - ”

“Swear?”

Hermione sighed in frustration. “Fine. You know I won’t tell them anything. But if he tries anything you’d better let us know.”

“Alright, I will.”

The conversation hadn’t gone at all the way she had hoped. She had wanted to talk about the almost kiss that didn’t happen, but Hermione had gotten her sidetracked about the bet. It was probably best that she hadn’t told her about it anyway. She was sure that if Malfoy did give her any trouble in Hogsmeade there would be people around who could help her deal with him. She seriously considered telling Ron and Harry to destroy Malfoy for her, but she really didn’t need them coming to her rescue. She was perfectly capable of dealing with this herself. She was determined not to allow herself to become mesmerized by his deep grey eyes or his kissable lips again.
~*~*~
Advanced Potions by Yazethet
Chapter 8

Advanced Potions

~*~


Colin had returned from his date with Blaise flushed and dreamy eyed. It was late, but Ginny had waited up for him.

“I take it things went well?” Ginny grinned as Colin floated into the common room taking a seat on the sofa in front of the fire.

“Wonderfully well!” he sighed. “He’s brilliant and attractive and did you know that he’s fancied me for months!”

“No, I didn’t.” Ginny giggled at her friend’s dreamy state.

“You know, I think this could get serious,” he said returning to reality a little.

“One date and this is serious already?”

“We just connected. We spent the whole time talking.”

“Talking?” she said doubtingly.

“Well, we’ re taking things slow,” he explained. “This is all new to him and to me, too. I don’t want to ruin this.”

Ginny nodded in understanding.

“So what did you two talk about?”

“Everything! And nothing. And...” Colin gave her a sheepish grin. “Well, we talked a little about you and Malfoy.” Ginny shot him a puzzled look.

“What about me and Malfoy?” she said slightly annoyed.

“He was telling me that you lost a bet with him today.”

“Bragging to his friends already? That insolent, arrogant, son-of-a-”

“Yes,” Colin interrupted knowing Ginny could go on for days insulting Malfoy. “Anyway, he said that you agreed to go to Hogsmeade with him?”

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” she said. Her surly mood had returned. “Actually, I almost beat him. In fact, I was able to plow a Bludger right into his stomach. It was rather satisfying to knock the wind out of him. I’d better make the team because I’d love nothing more than to do that again. Though next time I’ll try to aim a little higher and maybe I can knock the lips right off his face.”

“His lips. So he wouldn’t be able to kiss you again?” Colin asked, guessing that was the reason she picked that particular part of his anatomy.?
“Exactly. Not that I’ve been thinking about it at all.”

“Right,” Colin said with a hint of skepticism.

“Well, Colin, I’m beat. I think I’ll go to bed now. See you in the morning.”

“Night,” he replied.

~*~*~


It was Tuesday and Draco was still in a good mood. It had definitely paid off having Colin and Blaise get together. He was pleased to discover that he had more than a snowball’s chance in hell of getting Ginny Weasley to actually like him. According to Colin there were clues that she was still obviously thinking about him. Of course, she still wanted to rip off one of his appendages, but both Blaise and Colin believed that this was because she had conflicted feelings.

He waited at the dungeon entrance, as he knew that Ginny would be in his Advanced Potions class.

“What are you doing here, Malfoy?” she said, obviously annoyed.

“I thought I would walk you to class.”

“No thanks,” she returned and then promptly cast the leg locking curse on him. She continued on her way to class and didn’t even bother to watch as he fell flat on his face.

Conflicted feelings, my arse, he thought as he waved his wand and did the counter curse to free his legs. She still hates me.

Well, if she wanted to play hard to get, so be it. He would just have to be persistent and cunning. He was a Slytherin, for Salazar’ s sake, and there was a reason he was. He got what he wanted no matter what it took to get it.

He walked into the Potion’s classroom and saw only five others there. He recognized two seventh year Ravenclaws, Camillus Ingram and Trace Sindri who were sitting toward the front of the classroom. One heavy set seventh year Slytherin girl he knew as Ambrosia Amontu who was trying to flirt with Blaise and then there was Ginny Weasley. He took his seat at her table.

“I should have used the full body binding curse,” she muttered to him as she crossed her arms glaring at him again.

“I doubt you need to get detention again already. Though you were quite productive during your first detention, weren’t you?” he smirked.

“Yes I was. And I believe you weren’t very productive afterward, were you?” she returned the smirk as Draco’s faded slightly.

“So tell me, how does a fifth year end up in Advanced Potions class when she was just given a detention because she couldn’t make the Draught of Peace correctly?” He was taunting her.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” she retorted cheekily.

“You’re leaving me up to my own assumptions then? Let’s see, I know you’re capable of blackmail. I suppose that’s a possibility. But one wonders, if you would sink low enough to blackmail someone, what other things would an attractive redhead do to get a spot in a class reserved only for the most prominent potions students? Or should I ask who would you do?” he goaded.

Ginny’s eyes widened briefly in horror at the suggestion. Then she returned, “I would ask who you did to get in here, except, judging from what I’m sure was a disappointing performance with Edgecomb last week I highly doubt you would be capable of getting a position in this class with those skills - or lack therof.”

“First of all Marietta was the disappointment so I had no reason to perform. I should probably thank you for putting temporary deterrent on my hormones that evening. Secondly, if you are that interested in my skills I would be happy to oblige with a demonstration,” he commented grinning craftily at her.

“Who said I was interested,” she snapped narrowing her eyes.

“For being uninterested you seem to be quite aware of whom I spend my time with.”

Ginny opened her mouth to reply, however, Professor Snape chose that moment to enter the classroom.

“Welcome to Advanced Potions. You are here because I have personally invited each of you due to your interest and talent with potions. You should know that every student I have invited to this class who has chosen a career path in the Potions field has done so very successfully. The person with whom you are sitting right now will be your lab partner for the rest of the year. I am sure you are all capable of dealing with that,” he said specifically eyeing Draco and Ginny.

“For your first assignment I have laid out ten basic potion ingredients and four rare ingredients. You are to create a potion from memory that requires at least five of these ingredients and can be completed within this class period. Miss Weasley, I am aware that you are capable of creating the Draught of Peace from memory so you and Mr. Malfoy will need to decide upon a different concoction. You may begin.”

“We could make the Deflation Creation,” Draco suggested.

“The what?”

“The other potion that you created in detention? The one you tested on me? That better not have caused any permanent damage by the way,” he said with a subtle worried look.

Ginny laughed. “Wouldn’t that be a shame,” she said mockingly. “No more nasty little Malfoys populating the planet. But I don’t think that would be quite appropriate to make. As you said I don’t need another detention, especially another one for being too creative with the potion ingredients.”

“You’ll have to tell me about that one sometime. I assume that’s probably what landed you in Advanced Potions?” He was intensely curious.

“Maybe,” she said coolly. She was not about to have a friendly conversation with him. “We should get to work on a potion. Do you know how to make the Percuro Venificium?”

“Yes," he paused before it registered what her intention was. "You don’t actually expect us to make that? We only have an hour and a half. And that requires at least eleven of those ingredients, but we need bagsblat and that isn’t one of the ingredients up there.”

“We can make it with fifteen minutes to spare if you get your arse up there and get the ingredients we need now. And if we double the mugswort and put half of a eucalyptus leaf in place of the bagsblat it’ll have the exact same effect,” she said matter-of-factly.

“And I thought you didn’t want to be too creative,” he smirked. “You do know that doubling the mugswort has a tendency to cause instability?”

“Possibly. But I still think we can manage.”

“May I suggest something?”

“Be my guest.”

“If we quarter the eucalyptus leaf and put one quarter in with half the mugswort and repeat it’ll stabilize easier.”

Ginny thought it over for a moment. “Alright. Let’s get to work then.”

They worked amazingly well together. Draco was thoroughly in awe of her ability to recall the exact steps to create the potion. The Percuro Venificium was a draught designed to cure poisons. It was highly complex and Draco was amazed anyone aside from himself would even know where to begin with it.

They were filling a vial with the sample as Professor Snape called time. They were the last ones to complete their potion.

“Before we leave you will need to explain which potion you chose to create and why.”

The Ravenclaws explained that they had made a sobering potion because it was the first thing either of them could remember the entire process to make. They'd mumbled something about having to brew it often.

“Excellent brew, though not very challenging. I will expect more from you, as you are seventh years, but not a bad start. Five points each for Ravenclaw.”

Blaise and Amontu had created a laughter inducing potion because it was the first thing they agreed upon after arguing about it for the first fifteen minutes and the only thing they could create in the time they had left. It was very useful for stress relief.

“You two will need to work out your differences,” he said curtly. “Though I believe that you’ve created in interesting combination here.”

“Yes,” replied Blaise. “I thought it would be a good idea to limit bouts of laughter to ten minutes by adding the trunkweed.”

“Very good,” Snape replied with approval. “Five points each to Slytherin.”

“And Mr. Malfoy and Miss Weasley. This should be rather interesting,” he said with an amused sneer upon his face.

“We decided on Percuro Venificium. It’s extremely useful in curing poisons with serpent or spider venom in it. We chose to do it because it was a challenge,” Draco explained.

Snape furrowed his brows. “Mr. Malfoy, I believe that requires bagsblatt and I don’t believe that was one of the ingredients I provided. Are you quite sure you created it correctly?” He retrieved the vial and performed a test on it.

“Interesting,” he said softly when the results proved the serum was indeed Percuro Venificium. “How did you manage?”

Draco explained the steps they had taken to create the potion. “It was Weasley’s idea, actually.”

Snape gave a half smile. He appeared impressed. “This is exactly what I expect from my Advanced Potions students. You will be learning to improvise and enhance in this class. Excellent, Mr. Malfoy, Miss Weasley. Fifteen points each.”

The bell rang and they all gathered their books to leave.

“One moment, Mr. Zabini, Mr. Malfoy and Miss Weasley,” he called as they approached the door. “I am putting you two in charge of ensuring Miss Weasley is properly prepared for her OWLs” he said indicating Blaise and Draco.

“Professor Snape, I think I’ll be fine preparing on my own, ” Ginny said trying to hide her frustration.

“Nonsense. I don’t need any excuses for you not getting an Outstanding after I’ve advanced you to this class. Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Zabini have both received Outstandings on their OWLs and will prove to be useful in helping you achieve the same. You are dismissed.”

She turned to leave. Having to spend more time with Draco Malfoy was the last thing she wanted to do.

“It’s all right, Weasley,” Blaise said cheerfully. “We won’t bite.”

“Hard,” Draco added, briefly raising his eyebrows suggestively.

~*~*~


“Colin, can you please use the killing curse on me? I’m begging you, put me out of my misery.” Ginny dropped her books on the sofa and sat down staring into the fire. It was forty minutes until dinner and she wasn’t sure she wanted to go.

“Rough day?” Colin asked taking a seat next to her and putting an arm around her.

“To say the least. I should have stayed in Potions with you.”

“Advanced Potions tough?”

“No. I actually enjoyed the class. But I’m partnered with Malfoy,” she said frowning.

“What a shame,” Colin said with a bit of sarcasm. Ginny glanced at him sideways frowning even more.

“And Snape wants me to study for my potion OWL with Malfoy and Zabini. This is a nightmare!”

“Blaise is a lot of fun! And Draco isn’t that bad.”

“What did you say?”She glared.

“Blaise is fun?” he said meekly.

“No, I thought you just said Malfoy wasn’t so bad,” she said with a little irritation.

“Gin, let’s not have this argument again.”

“And since when are you on a first name basis with him?”

“Um, well, Blaise talks about him all the time and calls him Draco. Just kind of a habit, you know, when you hear it enough you pick it up?” Colin was trying to cover his mistake. She did not need to know how much time he'd actually spent talking with both Draco and Blaise.

“Oh. Well I suppose since you’ve seen Blaise every night since Saturday night you’ve probably heard a lot about Malfoy.”

“Well, yes. I suppose so.”

“Any useful information?” she pried.

“Nothing I’d really call useful.”

“What do you talk about then?” she demanded.

“Just school. You know, general stuff. Hey, it’s about time for dinner, shall we?” he said a little too quickly.

Ginny had the feeling that Colin wasn’t telling her something.

“No. I think I’ll skip dinner tonight. I want to get another practice in before tryouts on Friday so I’m heading out to the pitch.”

Colin nodded and left. He was definitely hiding something.

She headed out to the pitch only to find that she was not the only one with the idea of skipping dinner for a round of Quidditch practice. Unfortunately, it was Malfoy that had the same idea. She turned to leave.

“You don’t have to go, you know.” Malfoy had apparently spotted her and landed. “I know that my mere presence is impressive, yet intimidating, but there is room for more than one person to practice,” he said with feigned arrogance.

“Hardly. There seems to be very little room for me what with your rather large head taking so much space. I think I’ll come back later.”

“No matter,” he shrugged. “It’s probably best anyway. You’re quite dangerous on the field.”

“Afraid, Malfoy?”

“Yes, actually. Last time I was on the field with you I got a Bludger to my stomach.” There seemed to be no anger in his voice. In fact, he sounded almost playful.

“You should probably expect that every time you’re on the field with me, Malfoy.”

“Assuming you make the team,” he goaded. “Hufflepuff has the field booked after dinner for their tryouts tonight, so if you want to practice, now would probably be a good time.”

Ginny rolled her eyes. She was fairly certain she would make the team, but Malfoy placed just a small amount of doubt in her mind, enough for her to mount her broom and start on her drills. She attempted to ignore Malfoy.

He had stayed quiet, keeping to his own drills for the most part, though she saw that he would watch her every once in a while. She thought about hitting Bludgers in his general direction again.

When the Hufflepuffs started entering the stadium she figured dinner was over and tryouts were to begin. She landed and Malfoy followed suit.
“Not bad, Weasley. It would be interesting to see what you could do on a real broom,” he had said just as she left. She wasn’t sure whether to take it as a compliment or an insult.

She decided it would be much easier to take as an insult.
~*~*~
The Gift by Yazethet
Chapter 9

The Gift

~*~


I’m not going to try to convince her. Every time I even attempt to insinuate that you aren’t quite the evil git she thinks you are I get my head bitten off. I'm sorry, Draco, but you're on your own,” Colin said resolutely.

Draco met Blaise and Colin in one of the eastern towers of Hogwarts. The Tower of Travels, as they had dubbed it, was initially discovered by Draco during a night he had been patrolling near the end of the year prior. The only thing that could actually designate it as a tower were the winding steps that led to a single door. Upon opening the door, there wasn't actually a room, but an entire landscape which would change each time the tower was visited. The only evidence that they were still at Hogwarts was the door that stood alone on whatever surface accompanied the the surroundings.

Draco had decided to share his discovery with Blaise and Colin since were looking for a place to meet and remain discreet about their new relationship, though, not without a price. They had agreed to offer their assistance with Ginny in return. Today their surroundings appeared to be an evergreen forest.

“Come on, Colin. After all that I’ve done to get you and Blaise together, you can’t do this one little thing for me?” He wasn't quite begging as that would have been inappropriate. Still, he tried his best at being charming.

“Colin, ignore him. He tried the same line on me. Have you tried actually being nice to her?” Blaise suggested. Draco snorted.

“I offered to walk her to class the other day and she placed a leg locking curse on me! I fell flat on my face and damn neared bloodied my nose. And then I offered to carry her books for her yesterday. She dropped them on my toes, and I think she put a weight spell on them so they were heavier than lead.”

Blaise laughed. “Draco, you must have masochistic tendencies. In the time you’ve been chasing after Ginny you’ve gotten a knee to the bollocks, a Bludger to the stomach, a face to the floor and now you’ve almost lost your toes to her books.”

“I don’t know that you’d survive a relationship with Ginny,” Colin added laughing. “I’d say you two just need a good snogging session but you’ve already done that and you almost lost your ability to procreate.”

“Don’t remind me,” he said rolling his eyes.

“Honestly, Draco, she doesn’t trust you and when you’re nice she thinks you’re up to something. You’re making her paranoid,” Colin stated.

“Can you blame her,” Blaise said. “What with blackmailing her...”

“She’s the one who started that,” Draco interrupted. “And don’t think that I’ve forgotten you were in on that one too, Creevey.” He was still a bit bitter about it, but he needed Colin's help.

Colin smiled. “I’m quite proud of that work of art. Would you like another copy?”

Blaise looked slightly confused by the exchange, but Colin told him he would explain later.

“Maybe if you returned the photo that you’re blackmailing her with-“

“Not a chance, Blaise. That is the only thing keeping her from doing any permanent damage. No, I think I have a better idea,” he said as he got up to leave. As he walked out the door he heard Blaise say, “I thought he’d never leave!” Draco made a mental note not to return to the Tower of Travels that evening.

~*~*~


Ginny was ecstatic about making the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Ron and Harry assured her she would, but it felt good now that it was finally official. They were celebrating in the common room but she was disappointed to see that Colin was nowhere to be found. She had hoped that he would share her excitement in making the team. Lately, however, Colin had been sneaking off to meet Blaise every chance he got. She was beginning to feel slightly jealous that Blaise was taking so much of her friend’s time. She’d been spending time with Harry, Ron and Hermione, but it just wasn’t the same. They didn’t quite share her evil sense of humor.

If it weren’t for Colin she sometimes wondered how she’d survived being a Gryffindor. Not that it was all bad, really. But sometimes she wondered... She remembered how the Hat had initially told her how cunning and ambitious she was and how she was very much like the twins. It had been very insistent that Slytherin would be the most appropriate house for her. She was very adamant about being sorted into Gryffindor. She recalled the words the Hat had said. “The twins were also stubborn, though they were probably a better fit in Gryffindor than you, dear child.” At that she had threatened to cast an unstitching spell on the Hat to which the Hat sighed, replying, “Very well. I am only here to Sort you. It is your decisions that will matter in the end. Therefore I shall place you in - GRYFFINDOR!”

At the time she was relieved that the Hat had placed her in Gryffindor. However, in the past few years, especially after the incident during her first year, she wondered what would have happened had she been placed in Slytherin as the Hat had been so insistent upon doing.

After the celebration there was still no sign of Colin so she headed for bed. It was Friday so she assumed he would probably be out late. Although he was supposed to be patrolling the corridors, she had a good idea that wasn’t what he was doing.

For the upteenth time that week she found herself thinking of Malfoy before bed again. She hated herself for it, but her mind was wandering. She had been thinking about being a Slytherin and the first Slytherin that came to mind was Malfoy which made her think about his grey eyes, his silver blond hair and that 'almost' kiss that happened nearly a week ago.

She was trying to tell herself that there was still nothing to like about him. He was still arrogant and conceited. In fact, she could think of a very long list of horrendous adjectives that would describe Malfoy. Now, she found it very hard to leave good-looking, intelligent and an extremely good kisser off that list.

~*~*~


The next morning at breakfast a large spotted owl flew in carrying a rather large box. Ginny was surprised to see it landing in front of her.

“What is it?” asked Ron who was immensely curious about the package.

“It’s for you, Ginny,” Hermione said pulling the card off the box. In ornate letters was her name, Ginevra Weasley. She handed the card to Ginny.

“It says: Congratulations on making the team.”She opened the box. “Sweet Merlin!” she gasped and placed her hand over her mouth.

Ron’s eyes were bugging out with excitement. Harry appeared to be drooling.

“What is it?” Hermione finally asked.

“A Pegasus. A Pegasus Vortex!” Harry answered.

Ginny gingerly pulled the broom out of the box and examined it carefully.

“I take it that’s a good broom?” Hermione asked, ever oblivious to latest and greatest in broom models.

“It’s as fast as the Firebolt, but it has some very nice extra features,” Harry replied as Ginny was still quietly examining the luxurious gift she had just received.

“It’s very pretty,” Hermione commented, admiring the flaring red bristles that made up the end of the broom. Ron rolled his eyes.

“It’s not just pretty, Hermione. It’s an absolute dream!”

The model name was engraved in silver on the mahogany handle. The textured grip on the handle was made of fireball dragon scales for better grasp and hand warmth during flight. The flaring bristles provided stability yet also allowed for maximum maneuverability. It was said that it was possible to switch directions quickly, almost instantaneously, without losing any speed.

“Who’s it from?” Colin asked.

“I - I don’t know. The card wasn't signed,” Ginny finally said still admiring the broom. “Maybe it’s from Fred and George.”

“I’d like to know where mine is then!” Ron said still gazing in awe at the broom in Ginny’s hand.

“Fred and George would have at least signed the card,” Hermione noted.

“And I doubt they would have addressed it to Ginevra Weasley. They’d probably address it: ‘to our dearest Gin-Gin,” Colin sniggered. “Besides, how could they have known that she made the team already?”

It was a valid point. She couldn’t even begin to guess who had sent it, though she hoped Hermione wouldn’t pull the same stunt she had on Harry when he had first gotten his Firebolt. Of course, she didn’t have a madman trying to kill her so she doubted that Hermione would have McGonagall spend a month doing anti-hexing charms on it.

Oddly enough, as she looked up and gazed across the Great Hall she met the grey eyes of the Slytherin she had been desperately trying not to think about all week. He saw her holding the broom. He raised his eyebrows quickly and then smiled, or smirked rather. Only one corner of his mouth lifted. Thankfully, she was the only one who caught it. She had no idea what that was all about, but she was going to find out. After a test flight on her new broom.

~*~*~


It had taken a great deal of convincing, but Colin somehow managed to get her to land after she had spent hours on her new broom. She was still a little irritated with him for not being in the common room to celebrate her acceptance on the team and had spent a good fifteen minutes ignoring him while he tried to tell her that they needed to study.

Colin had told her that Blaise thought it would be a good idea for them to study Potions together. Though she would much rather study with Blaise than with Malfoy, she currently wasn’t too keen on the fact that the only reason Colin wanted to study was because Blaise would be there. She was happy for the two, but they were practically attached at the hip. Blaise had been occupying too much of his time, in her opinion, and she was starting to feel a little lonely.

“Colin, it’s only the second week of school. The OWLs are not until June. I think we’ll have plenty of time to study. Here,” she said handing him the broom. “Why don’t you have a go around the pitch, it’s absolutely fabulous! I haven’t even let Ron or Harry take it yet.”

Colin smiled. He wasn’t any good at Quidditch, but he loved to fly, and Ginny knew it. At least she had gotten his mind off studying for a while. Eventually, however, Colin came down and insisted on going to the Library.

“You may not have a Potions test to study for, but I do.” Colin had informed her when she tried to distract him from studying again.

“Fine. Then you go study with Blaise,” she replied coldly.

“Come on, Gin. I wanted you two to get to know each other. I know I haven’t been spending much time with you lately, but Blaise and I, well...”

“Yeah, yeah. You’re arse over elbow. Tell me about it,” she said rolling her eyes. “Actually, don’t tell me about it.”

Colin became firm with her this time. “Now you’re just being difficult. I think - ”

“What do you think, Colin? That I’m being unfair? That I’m being irrational and unreasonable?” she snapped.

“I think that you need to get a little action of your own,” he drawled with a smirk.

“What?” Ginny was flabbergasted.

“You heard me. Though you are right. You are being unfair, irrational and unreasonable. I’m trying to include you. I’ve felt guilty all week spending so much time with Blaise and I’m trying to make it up to you and you’re being difficult about it. Now, you are coming whether you like it or not.”

“I’ d rather not,” she said defiantly.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” he said picking up the petite redhead and tossing her over his shoulder. He held her broom in one hand and steadied her with the other.

“Colin, don’t!” she said furiously. “Put me down! Put me down right now or you’ll be sorry!”

He set her down.

“Fine. I’ll come, but I don’t have to be happy about it,” she said crossing her arms.

“Wanna bet?” he said just before he cast an overly emphatic cheering charm on her.

“Colin Creevey!” she said laughing. “You are going to pay for this!”

He dragged her all the way to the library in a fit of laughter. She kept making threats on his life and various body parts as they made their way to the library. He cast a silencing charm on her before they entered, though it was still very apparent she was laughing.

“She’s going to kill you, you know,” Blaise said when Colin had explained what he had done.

“I know. But it was the only way I could get her to come. I almost had to carry her all the way here. She’s really very stubborn.”

When the cheering charm finally wore off enough where she could speak normally, Colin lifted the silencing charm and they began studying. Ginny still was threatening revenge on Colin, but she found that Blaise was actually quite pleasant to be around. The black haired, green-eyed Slytherin knew a lot about the history of potions and could rattle off the inventors of almost every potion known to wizardkind. He reminded Ginny a little of Hermione in the way he seemed so logical and reasonable, though he was, in comparison, very laid back. He also had a wicked sense of humor. She could definitely see why Colin was crazy about him.

Ginny thought it was sweet how the two would give each other knowing glances throughout their study session. They were careful not to be too obvious, but Ginny knew that if anyone were paying very close attention they would see the connection the two had.

She was almost ready to forgive Colin for dragging her to the library when the one Slytherin she really wasn’t in the mood to spend time with appeared at their table. She had expected Blaise to greet him normally, but when Colin had also greeted him with familiarity she was annoyed and gave him an irritated sideways glance before speaking to Malfoy.

“What are you doing here?”

“Studying. As I recall, Professor Snape insisted that I assist you in preparing for your OWLs.”

She missed the knowing look that was exchanged between Colin and Blaise. She was too busy glaring at Malfoy.

“I’ve already been studying with Blaise.”

“Yes, well, Blaise and Colin were supposed to be somewhere about now?” he asked glancing in their direction. Blaise looked up at the clock.

“Yes, right. We were supposed to - uh – meet somebody about something,” Colin said as he rose to leave. “Coming Blaise?”

“Right behind you,” he said quickly gathering his books.

“Later, Gin,” Colin said grinning at her as he left. She glared at the back of his head as he exited the library.

“Where were we?” he asked as if they were in the middle of something.

“Nowhere. I’m done studying,” she said flipping her book shut. But there he was right across the table from her. His grey eyes twinkling mischievously, the same smirk playing on the lips that she couldn’ t seem to get out of her mind lately. “What was that all about at breakfast?”

“What are you talking about?” he said innocently though he repeated the same eyebrow raise and half smile he had given her at breakfast.

“That is what I’m talking about.”

“I saw you had a new broom. Just curious to know what model it was,” he said continuing his innocent act.

“For your information, Malfoy, it’s a Pegasus Vortex,” she said proudly.

“And where did you get the money for such a fine broom?” He appeared to be goading her.

“It was a gift,”she said shortly, not appreciating anything he may have been insinuating.

“From who?” he was still smirking at her.

“None of your business.” She glared.

“Maybe you’ll let me fly it sometime.”

“Not on your life, Malfoy.”

“I’ve got one on order so I suppose it doesn’t really matter, does it?”

“I suppose not,” she replied, hiding her disappointment. Of course. Malfoy couldn't be outdone by a Weasley.

“Have you come up with a potion for our next assignment?” he said, quickly changing the subject.

“Not yet,” she said knowing that she couldn’t leave now that they were going to work on Advanced Potions. She hoped they would find a potion fast so she could enjoy the rest of the weekend without having to deal with him. He got up to retrieve a book from the restricted section. As he returned she quietly cast a disfiguring spell on his face.

His eyes began to cross and his lips puckered and twisted. His perfectly straight nose became crooked and his chin drooped. She had to bite her lip to keep from laughing.

“What?” he said as he noticed her struggles not to laugh.

“Nothing,” she said swallowing back the laughter. “Let’s choose a potion and be done with it.”

She was sure that he had given her a perplexed look, but it was difficult to tell when his facial features resembled that of a troll. Ten minutes later she left the library leaving Draco confused at the laughter he was receiving from the two other people in the library. She only wished the library was full at the time. Serves him right for being so damned good-looking, she thought as she made her way back to the Gryffindor common room.
~*~*~


A/N: Since I haven't been able to get around to answering the reviews, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who left one :) I appreciate them so much! This story, though not complete, was written a year ago as my first fanfic. I'm going through and attempting to revise it a chapter at a time while I work on the last couple of chapters, so updates should be fairly quick. Hope you continue to enjoy!
Prefect Patrol by Yazethet
Chapter 10
Prefect Patrol
~*~

Ginny was disappointed to see that Malfoy had managed to fix his face by Monday. She would have loved to see more people laughing at his expense. As she passed him in the halls she couldn’t help but making a comment.

“Fixed you’re face, I see,” she said and then pretended to take a closer look. “Oh wait, it looks like your nose is still a bit crooked. Want me to fix it for you?” She drew her wand.

“Ah, so the culprit reveals herself. I should have known it was you, Weasley.” She was surprised that he said this with amusement instead of malice. “Tell me Weasley, what is this personal vendetta you have against me? Oh yes, I forgot,” he said slyly as he retrieved something from his schoolbag. “Would this be it?” He produced a copy of the photo he had taken in the empty classroom.

Ginny tried to snatch the photo away, but he pulled it back and appeared to be studying it carefully.

“You know, I was right. This is a rather flattering photo of you,” he continued smoothly. “Hmm. It looks like you were enjoying yourself, but Colin told me you thought I was lacking in those skills. Perhaps another demonstration? I would be happy to oblige, love.” He handed her the photo with a wily smile on his lips and then walked away before she could reply.

Ginny was boiling with fury. She didn’t know who she was more furious with, Malfoy or her traitorous best friend Colin Creevey. She hadn’t even been able to defend herself or threaten him with the unflattering photo she still had of him. There wasn't a single curse evil enough to jinx him with, aside from Avada Kedavra. And worst of all, the kiss that had been haunting her since that day in the classroom was not only replaying over and over in her head, but now replaying over and over in the photo in her hands. The cropping of it was such that her hands, which had been forced down at her sides, were not in the picture making it appear as if she were a willing participant. The moment captured failed to show her angrily breaking away or anything that happened afterwards. It just appeared to be one long, never-ending kiss.

And he was right, she did appear to be enjoying it.

She threw the photo into her book bag and set out to find Colin. Leaving her in the library with Malfoy on Saturday was one thing, but passing on information that she thought was private was unforgivable. It was almost as if the two were plotting against her! Her best friend and her worst enemy, it was unreal.

~*~*~

Having ensured an appropriate distance between Ginny and himself, Draco slowed his pace as he was in no hurry to get to his next class. As he caught sight of Colin walking in the opposite direction, it occurred to him that he should be warned of Ginny's impending explosion.

“Creevey," he said, nodding in his direction to get his attention.

Colin maneuvered himself to the side of the hall and gave Draco a puzzled look.

"I thought I'd just warn you," he said as his lips curled in a mischievous grin. "Ginny might be in a bit of a temper. You might want to avoid her at all costs today, if you value your bits. I have a feeling she's not too happy with you at the moment."

"Me? What did I do?" Colin's racked his brain for the last thing that he'd done to possibly irritate his temperamental best friend.

Draco explained the exchange they had in the hall.

“You told her that I told you what she said about kissing you? Good god, Draco! Are you insane? She’s going to kill me! And you! Bloody hell, I ought to kill you!”

“I already told you that. I would suggest skiving off any classes you have with her.”

“I can’t! I’m a prefect.”

“It’s your funeral. I thought I’d at least warn you.”

“Then again I’m sure I have a Skiving Snackbox around here somewhere,” he said and began checking his bag as Draco left to attend his next class.

Draco had been a little irate about the disfiguring spell. He was just glad that only a few first years had seen him before he had figured out what had happened. Of course, he'd known it was her. He she have known the moment he caught her laughing.

She'd gotten away with enough and it was time for retaliation. He still liked her, but he could not let her get away with disfiguring his face, even if it was for only an hour. It was likely she hated him even more now than she had at the beginning of school. But ever since he had almost kissed her again in the hospital wing, he detected a little more than just tension between them.

Perhaps Colin had been right about needing a good snogging session. He idly wondered what she would do if he made another attempt. It was worth a try. This time, however, he would remember to use one of the shielding charms the male members of the Quidditch teams used to protect themselves.

~*~*~

It was Ginny's night to patrol the hall near Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Most of the prefects didn’t enjoy the task of watching that particular hall as Myrtle still had a tendency to throw fits and flood the bathroom causing water to leak all over the floor. She had her own reasons for not wanting to be down this particular corridor.

Ron and Hermione both offered to switch halls with her, but she had insisted that she would be fine. And she was fine, though she still felt a prickle of fear whenever she heard any noise in the pipes. When she reached the end of the hall where she had been forced to write messages in blood, she shuddered and turned around trying not to let the memory bother her.

She headed back down the hall a little too quickly and stepped right into one of the puddles left by Moaning Myrtle’s most recent tantrum. Her heel slid forward and she fell, successfully smacking her head against the floor and dropping her wand. The entire backside of her robe was drenched. It was fortunate that no one was there to see it.

Except...

Before she could move to pick herself up off the floor, she heard something move behind her. Immediately, she swung her legs around causing whatever or whomever it was to trip and hit the ground. She reached out and grabbed her wand and then grabbed the robes of the person who was sprawled out on the ground, aiming her wand directly at their ribcage. Her heart was racing.

“Malfoy?” she said in surprise when she actually looked at the owner of the robes she had clutched in her hand.

“Bloody hell, Weasley! I could have been Filch!” he said rubbing the back of his head.

“Filch knows better than to take me by surprise,” she replied still holding a handful of his robes and pointing her wand at his ribcage.

Her heart continued racing, but she could no longer tell whether it was the fear or the fact that she was so damn close to Malfoy. She could have strangled him, but the scent of his cologne drifted to her nose. Gods, does he always smell so good? she thought, feeling that she was going into sensory overload.

“Weasley, could you point that thing somewhere - ” he started, but she cut him off.

Her mouth came crashing down on his furiously at first, but he was responding and she softened the kiss slightly. She allowed him to explore her mouth delighting at the sensations he was sending through her. It made her wonder why she had stopped him at all the first time around. Nothing made sense anymore and nothing really mattered, not even the fact that she was suppose to detest him.

Draco slid his hand around her waist and adjusted his position so that he was the one who was on top of her. She had no idea how long she allowed it to go on and she didn’t care. The only concern she had was revelling in the pleasure of his kiss.

Then there was a crash followed by the sound of a yowling cat and suddenly reality came smashing down around her.

“Peeves! Get back here you bloody poltergeist!” It was Filch.

Opening her eyes, she broke the kiss and shoved Malfoy off of her with a little too much force causing him to yelp slightly. She got up and walked away quickly, not even looking back at him. He stared after her with a look of bewilderment and awe upon his face.

~*~*~

“Thank Merlin you’re here, Colin,” Ginny said upon entering the Gryffindor common. She was slightly breathless, though she wasn’t positive it was just because she had hurried back from her patrolling duties.

Colin was confused. He had been avoiding her all day because he was sure that she was going to kill him for telling Malfoy about what she thought of his kiss. And now she was thanking Merlin for his presence? There was something definitely wrong.

“Are you all right, Gin?” He asked after realizing how flushed she appeared.

“No," she admitted. "Are you any good at memory charms? A simple Obliviate would do nicely, I think. Just erase the last ten minutes of my life and I think I’ll be fine.”

“What are you talking about?” Colin was only growing more confused.

“Please, Colin," she begged. Her tone was desperate. "I’m asking for this one thing and I’ll forgive anything that you’ve done.”

“We don’t learn memory charms until seventh year and I don’t think I should be experimenting on you, even if you would forgive me for being an ass. Now what’s going on?” he demanded.

“I kissed Malfoy!” she blurted out.

“I know, he took a picture, remember? And I’m really sorry about telling him you thought his skills were lacking. It just came up in conversation - ”

“No. Not then. I just kissed him. Just now. I’m insane, Colin. I belong in the mental ward of St. Mungo's. I don’t know what came over me!” she was speaking hurriedly, but distractedly. “I was patrolling Moaning Myrtle’s corridor and he came up behind me and I tripped him and then I kissed him!”

Why had she done it?

She’d been growing tired of thinking about that stupid kiss and with that photograph, things were only made worse. She thought that maybe her mind had been playing tricks on her and the kiss wasn’t really that good. So when she had him on the floor by the collar of his robes it became imperative to find out. The whole point was to prove herself wrong in thinking there was a reason she had been obsessed with that kiss and with the almost-kiss for the past week and a half. It was supposed to be nothing! She was supposed to find that the slimy git was as awful as she wished him to be.

He wasn’t.

Not by a long shot.

Bloody, freaking hell.

Colin was smiling oddly at her. “So, you kissed him? As in - you initiated it?”

She nodded slowly. “What was I thinking?”

“I don’t know,” Colin returned teasingly. “What were you thinking? I thought you said he was a bad kisser? What ever would prompt you to kiss an already decidedly bad kisser?”

Ginny either ignored or failed to pick up on his sarcasm.

“I don’t know,” she said tiredly. “I think I need to go lie down now.”

She still had a dazed look as she headed to her room.
~*~*~

A/N: Again, thanks for the Reviews :) Really, ya'll are too nice.
Aftermath by Yazethet
Chapter 11

Aftermath

~*~


Draco couldn’t believe the little vixen had beaten him to the punch! He had traded Pansy Parkinson for her patrol night so he could corner Ginny in the corridors where he could have a moment of time with her, alone.

His intention had been to steal another kiss, but she had surprised the wits out of him when it was she who had pressed her lips against his, willingly and rather demandingly.

At first, he wondered if perhaps he had hit his head on the floor harder than he thought. Maybe he was unconscious and only dreaming. But the pressure of her lips on his felt too wonderful to be a dream. Unfortunately, she had broken the kiss again, though mercifully, this time she didn’t use her knee. She simply walked away without even giving him a second look.

Draco wasn’t sure quite how to take that.

He was sure that the only reason she had broken the kiss was because Filch had been screaming at Peeves. At least, he hoped that was the only reason. It would be difficult to believe that she wasn't enjoying it as much as he had. Ginny couldn’t have meant what she had told Colin about his kissing ability. Could she? The arrogantly confident Slytherin was suddenly doubtful about his own abilities. He’d never had any complaints before. He simply assumed that whenever he’d kissed a girl before the dreamy look that had a tendency to follow a good snogging was indication that he’d done his job.

It was odd how he felt that he could have just kissed her lying there in the puddle in the middle of the corridor all night. In his previous experience he found that the snogging would get old somewhat quickly and his hands would want to wander to more exciting pleasures. Not that those things didn’t come to mind when he was thinking about Ginny Weasley. But, gods! He could get drunk on her kisses alone! It was insanity.

Another taste of her lips only left him wanting more. He was addicted, plain and simple. But what was he to do now? He had no idea if she reciprocated his feelings at all. He knew that she obviously felt something. But was it only curiosity, as he had felt initially? Now that she had kissed him, had she satisfied that curiosity? Would she have anything more to do with him? Not that she had much to do with him as it was, he thought with a trace of bitterness. He was going to need to rectify that. He was a Slytherin, after all, and when he wanted something he got it. And he wanted Ginny Weasley.

In Advanced Potions Ginny was unusually quiet. She hadn’t even made eye contact with him. They worked on their potion in silence. Draco had no idea how to even approach her about what had happened the night before. She was certainly acting as if nothing had happened.


He hated that she had the innate ability to make him doubt himself. He’d never had that problem before and it was a maddeningly humbling experience.

Draco decided he was going to need to speak to Colin. Her best friend would have some insight as to what was going on in her mind. Certainly she would have mentioned something to him.

He was on the verge of driving himself insane with questions when at last it was time to clean up when she finally spoke.

“Malfoy, we need to talk.”

She had made it so simple. He’d spent the whole class period wondering what he should say to her or how to approach her and she had done it in four simple words. ‘We need to talk.’

He nodded.

“Meet me in the library at eight,” she said without a hint of emotion. She gathered her books and left.

~*~*~


Ginny had no idea what she was going to say to Draco. She was thoroughly expecting him to tease her during Advanced Potions. That she could have handled. Any obnoxious comments he would have made would have been returned tenfold as she had an arsenal of biting remarks just waiting for him. Except that instead of teasing her he had remained silent. And the silence was unnerving.

By the end of class, she felt something had to be said. It wouldn't do to have him throwing it back at her in some unexpected moment. But what would she tell him? Maybe she should just tell him the truth. It was hormones. That’s it. Hormones and a serious lapse in judgment.

Why hadn’t he said anything during Advanced Potions? Was he simply biding his time, waiting for the right moment to embarrass her? When she told him they needed to talk he had easily agreed. He hadn’t even made an attempt at an insult. In fact, lately there seem to be a lack of direct insults from him.

At dinner she sat with Colin as usual.

“Something bothering you, Ginny?” he asked noticing her lack of conversation. She had been staring at her plate for ten minutes poking at the potatoes.

“It’s nothing,” she muttered. Then, realizing she was talking to someone who was supposed to be her best friend she reconsidered. She sat up. “It’s nothing that I can really talk about here,” she said glancing in the direction of her brother and his friends. She and Colin hadn’t had a good talk in what seemed like ages, and right now she could use his advice.

“Okay, if you’re done we can go back to the common room...” then realizing that the common room would be packed with people and noting the need for a bit of privacy he changed his mind. “Actually, I’ve got a better place in mind.”

They left the Great Hall and Colin led her to the Tower of Travels. He opened the door and they were on a rocky cliff overlooking the ocean. Ginny could see a lighthouse in the distance.

“Where are we?” she asked in wonderment.

“We call it the Tower of Travels. The location changes every day and most of the time it's quite lovely,” he explained with a fond smile.

“I take it this is where you and Blaise have been stealing off to every spare moment you have? How on earth did you come across this place?” she said looking around. The entrance to the winding staircase that led to the door was hidden behind a painting that depicted the exact same scene she saw before her now.

“Blaise showed me,” he replied simply. “We’re the only ones who seem to know about it. I’ll tell you more about it some other time.” He found a relatively flat stone and took a seat. “Right now I think you need to talk. It’s about Malfoy, isn’t it?” He gave her a lopsided grin.

She found a stone of her own, sat down, and sighed heavily. “I don’t even know where to start.”

“Let’s start with what happened last night,” Colin suggested eagerly. “What exactly prompted you to kiss him?”

“Let’s call it temporary insanity, because I was definitely not in my right mind last night,” she said with annoyance. “And now I have deal with Malfoy! Merlin knows what he’s going to do now.”

“What makes you think he’s going to do anything?”

“This is Malfoy we’re talking about here. Why wouldn’t he use this to his advantage? He didn’t say a word today in Advanced Potions. He’s probably plotting,” she explained sullenly.

“What on earth do you think he’s plotting? I think you’re being a bit paranoid.”

“Paranoid? You think I’m being paranoid?” she said incredulously. She was on the verge of losing her temper again, but taking a deep breath, she managed to control herself. “Look, I know I started this whole mess by deciding to blackmail him in the first place. It’s my own fault, I’ll admit that. And I’m glad he’s not trying to take it out on you, because he knows you were in on it, although I’m sure Blaise has something to do with that. But I’m his primary target. He’s still out to get me.”

“You think he’s still out to get you?” Colin asked almost laughing at how right she was, and yet how wrong. “You know, you’re probably right to be paranoid. After everything that you’ve done to him it’s no wonder you think he’s up to something.”

“You’re acting as if I’m crazy,” she snapped, a little more than irritated that Colin was finding her whole situation amusing. “Why would the git ask me to go to Hogsmeade with him as a condition of losing the bet? He’s been acting very odd lately. He’s been pretending to get along with me during Advanced Potions, of course, he has to because we’re lab partners. After everything that I’ve done to him he hasn’t even lost his temper. Not once. He’s even gone so far as to act like he’s being nice to me, offering to carry my books last week and walk me to class. Honestly, what does he take me for, an idiot? I think that he’s purposely doing all that to make me paranoid. It’ s all part of his plan.”

Colin sighed and gave her a patronizing look. “Honestly, Gin,” he said shaking his head. “You are one of the most brilliant Witches I know, but you can be awfully daft some days.” He ignored the angry look she gave him. “The only reason he’s done all that is because he likes you.”

“He what?” she said as if she didn’t quite hear her best friend correctly.

“He fancies you,” he repeated slowly, as if it should have been the most obvious thing in the world. “And you evidently fancy him as well.”

“What would even make you suggest such an atrocious thing?” she said recoiling at the thought.

“With the way you two have been going on? You’d have to be blind not to see it.”

“I do not fancy Draco Malfoy,” she said with resolution.

“Then why did you kiss him?” he asked cocking his head with interest.

“What makes you think that he likes me?” She completely avoided his question.

“He told me. Now why did you kiss him?” Colin asked a little more insistently.

“What do you mean he told you?” Her tone was dangerous.

Colin sighed. “Draco’s the one who told Blaise about this place and he hangs out here with us sometimes. He isn't all bad. The worst thing about him right now is that he’s insane about you!”

Ginny was floored. “I thought you were my best friend. And now you’re telling me you’ve been spending all this time consorting with the enemy? To think I was just jealous of Blaise taking your time! I can’t believe this.”

She felt betrayed. And confused. Her best friend was a traitor. But he was telling her that Malfoy liked her.

“Don’t be mad, Gin. It’s not like I was trying to be friends with him. He’s just around all the time. Actually, if it weren’t for him, Blaise and I would never be able to spend any time together.”

She wanted to be mad at him, but found herself sympathizing with his situation. Colin was openly gay, but Blaise wasn’t ready to share that information with the world and Colin was being understanding about it. Colin had already been through that and knew that things needed to progress at a rate he was comfortable with, even if it meant having a secret relationship. Still, Malfoy willingly spending time in the presence of a Gryffindor was very suspicious.

“So you think Malfoy really fancies me?” she asked doubtfully. It was impossible to believe.

“I know he does. You should’ve heard him whining about how you dropped your books on his toes when he was trying to be nice and carry them for you. He swore you put a weight gain spell on them. I told him that Blaise’s idea of being nice to you would only backfire.” He grinned. “I think this whole thing would be better solved with a good snogging session.”

It seemed surreal that Colin would be giving Malfoy advice on how to win her over. As for the snogging session, well, they had accomplished that. In fact, she still had to speak with Malfoy about it later in the evening. She wasn’t sure it was possible for Malfoy to actually like her. It was more likely that it was an elaborate ploy to get back at her. Nevertheless, it was interesting information. She would find out whether or not it was true.

Ginny left the Tower of Travels and headed for the library now fully prepared for her discussion with Malfoy.

Entering the library, she spotted him at one of the tables studying. She tried to ignore the fact that her stomach did summersaults every time she saw him now. Even sitting there studying he looked so conceited, so arrogant, so full of himself, so handsome. Damn.

Alright. So she was attracted to him. That was obvious. That was why she had given into temptation last night. But that didn’t mean she liked him. He was still an insufferable git as far as she was concerned. He’d given her no reason to like him; in fact, he had given her every reason to loathe him. But she wondered what it was that made Malfoy like her, if he really did like her. She couldn’t believe what she was about to do to find out.

“Hullo, Malfoy,” she said sweetly.
~*~*~


A/N: Sorry bout being slow in getting this one posted. I got sidetracked with some other plotbunnies... so... uh... yeah. Thanks for the reviews! :)
Ginny Schemes by Yazethet
A/N: Apologies ahead of time for errors (not that they would be the first) as editing for this chapter happened swiftly in order to get the posted. With HBP, I'm sure you can understand my lack of attention... right? :)

Chapter 12

Ginny Schemes

~*~

         
“Weasley?” Draco looked up to see the redhead smiling at him. In every meeting that they’d had since school started she was either irked at him or laughing at him. If she ever smiled at him it was always because she had done something particularly evil that was probably going to make his life miserable. The smile she wore now was of that exact nature. He saw the familiar flicker of mischievousness in her eyes.
        
She sat down directly across from him. “So what are you studying?” she said conversationally.
        
This was definitely unusual. She never spent time on idle chitchat with him. He wasn’t sure what to expect when she told him to meet her here for a talk, but he had assumed that it would at least have something to do with last night’s activities.
        
“I was working on History of Magic,” he replied slowly. He was staring intently at her searching for some clue as to what was going in her head. He hadn’t noticed Ron Weasley approach them.
        
“Gin, are you all right?” he asked his sister with concern. He glared at Draco. “Is this git bothering you?”
        
“I’m fine Ron, thanks.” She smiled pleasantly at her brother.
        
“What are you doing here with him?” he snarled.
        
“I just came here to tell Malfoy something,” she answered innocently returning her gaze to Draco. “I just wanted to tell him that last night’s demonstration was,” she paused a moment allowing a wicked grin to slowly spread across her face, “satisfactory.”
        
Satisfactory? Draco was speechless. He didn’t even have the ability to tell Ron to bugger off.
        
“Demonstration? What demonstration?” Ron was growing irate. Ginny was still calm. In actuality, she looked positively pleased that Ron was about to explode.
        
“A potion demonstration,” she said without missing a beat. She was still smiling playfully at Draco. After a moment, she turned to her brother. “If you recall, Ron, I have Advanced Potions with Malfoy and we have assignments to do. But thank you for your concern.”
        
“If he’s bothering you, Gin -” he started still glaring at Malfoy.
        
“Ron, I am perfectly capable of handling Malfoy on my own.”

Draco wondered if there was a double meaning behind those words. He was amused at the thought.
        
“What are you smirking at, Malfoy?” Ron was still glaring at him, but Draco had his eyes on Ginny.
        
“Your little sister doesn’t seem to need your assistance, Weasley. You heard her. She is perfectly capable of handling me on her own,” he repeated, mild amusement was apparent in his voice. He glanced at Ginny and broadened his grin.
        
“Well, if you two don’t mind, I have some studying to do.” Ginny got up to leave. Ron gave her a look of puzzlement as he returned to his seat muttering to himself. Draco was sure that he heard a few insults directed at him, however, he was too busy watching Ginny leave to care. She turned one last time before she exited the library and winked slyly at him.
        
He took a moment to pick his jaw up off the floor before he gathered his things and followed her. She was waiting for him at the end of the hall, casually leaning with her back against the stone wall.
        
He approached her, slowly.
        
“Satisfactory, you say?” He continued sauntering steadily toward her. She remained leaning against the wall, arms crossed, and a trace of wickedness still in her smile.
        
“I’d say that was an invitation for another demonstration.” He stopped only inches from her, placing one hand on the wall and leaning toward her.
        
She revealed her wand and pointed it at him.
        
“Petrificus Totalis!” she murmured before he was able to say another word. His arms snapped to his sides causing his rigid form to fall forward. He felt a sharp pain as his head cracked against the wall. He chastised himself for forgetting to stay armed and alert when he was around her.
        
“I wasn’t inviting you to do anything,” she said, the same wicked smirk still playing on her lips. “Just because I kissed you last night, doesn’t mean I like you.” She stepped back and allowed her eyes to travel over his rigid form. “But,” she drawled, “you are kind of cute.”
        
Cute? Cute was not a word that was ever used to describe Draco Malfoy. He was handsome, debonair, attractive, good-looking, or even gorgeous, but cute? He didn’t think it was even a word he used in his vocabulary.
        
Ginny was baiting him. He was sure of it. She was definitely a conniving little fox. She initiated the kiss last night. Informing him that his ‘demonstration’ last night was satisfactory had been a purposeful taunt on her part because satisfactory was another word he found quite unsuitable to describe anything he did. And now she was claiming she didn’t even like him! What kind of game was she playing?
        
“In fact, you might actually be rather dashing if it weren’t for that oversized head of yours,” Ginny continued.
        
Dashing was more like it, but oversized head? His head was perfectly proportionate to...ah, the size of his ego. Clever. He wished he had the ability to respond. Damn the body-binding hex.
        
“Someone really should put a shrinking spell on it.” She raised her wand. If Draco could actually wince he might have at that moment. He was relieved when she lowered her wand again.
        
“But, I suppose you probably have enough small body parts,” she said momentarily glancing down at his mid section so he would catch her exact meaning.
        
What was it that he liked about this evil redhead again?
        
She took a step toward him balancing on her toes. Draco could feel her breath tickling his earlobe. He breathed in the aroma of her flowery shampoo. “Or do you?” she whispered naughtily.
        
Ah, yes. That was it.
        
She moved away from him again. If only he had the use of his arms, he would have grabbed her and snogged her senseless right there. He was really going to have to start disarming her before he approached her. Then again, she had already proven she could be just as dangerous without a wand.
        
“Oi! Ginny!”
        
It was the overprotective brother. Probably a good thing he couldn’t have snogged her senseless right there, Ron would have probably killed him. But what a way to die!
        
“What’s going on here?”
        
“Nothing. Malfoy decided to take a rest against the wall,” he heard her say with a slight giggle. “Finite Incantatum!”
        
Draco crumbled to the floor.
        
“What was he doing to you?” he asked, obviously not convinced by her first answer. “Why did you have to put him in a full body bind? If he touched you I’ll -”
        
“Relax, Weasley,” Draco said pulling himself off the floor. “Your precocious little sister was proving just how well she could handle me on her own. Don’t worry, I haven’t touched a single Weasley-red hair on her head.” Though he had a sudden desire to run his fingers through that flaming red hair of hers.
        
“Come on, Ron,” Ginny urged. “Let’s get back to the common room.”
        
“But what the bloody hell is that git smiling about?” Ron asked as she started tugging at his arm.
        
“Nothing, I’m sure. He’s a bit nutters. I’ve heard he’s seeing a Headhealer,” he heard her say as she pulled Ron away. She flashed Draco an impish grin over her shoulder as she escorted her brother down the hall toward the Gryffindor towers.
        
He was certainly not going to let her get away with that stunt. He had the feeling the little minx was fully aware there would be retaliation. She was teasing him, practically daring him to make another move. She wasn’t making things easy for him, but she was definitely making things interesting.

~*~*~
       
        
Ginny was quite pleased with her performance. The look on Malfoy’s face when she informed him of his merely satisfactory demonstration was classic. He was definitely interested in another snogging session, that much she could tell. It was a good thing she had put him in a full body bind, as she was sorely tempted to oblige. However, she was sure that she was now asking for a large helping of trouble. She had shown interest.
        
What was meant to be a simple ruse to determine whether or not Malfoy liked her had escalated into another game of sorts. Initially she was going to flirt a little and see his reaction. She hadn’t expected Ron to be there, but her twisted little mind couldn’t help but improvise. She got a little too caught up in her own scheme and had probably taken it a little too far, but she couldn’t deny the thrill she got from toying with him. She was surprised at her own audaciousness.
        
Oh, how she hated the fact that she was attracted to him. She was supposed to detest the bastard. Over the years he had caused her enough humiliation and irritation to last a lifetime. She believed he needed to be taught a lesson, hence the reason for blackmail in the first place. He had years of payback coming to him and she wasn't going to let the fact that she was lusting after him change that.
        
Perhaps she could use this supposed interest that he had in her to exact her revenge on him. She could lead him on and if he really did like her she could break his heart, assuming he had one. The question was: Could she really bring herself to do it? Did she have the willpower to do it? Especially when what she really wanted to do was drag him into a broom closet and just get this craziness out of her system. The only problem was that she was she wasn't quite sure she could get enough.
        
She had to get a hold of herself. This was simply a matter of control. She could do anything if she put her mind to it, or so her dad would tell her. Though, she was sure that her dad didn't have blackmail and manipulation in mind when he gave her that piece of advice.
        
Blackmailing him was one thing. But purposely leading him on with the intent of maliciously toying with his feelings? Well, perhaps it was a bit too cruel. Then again, he hadn't exactly been a prince to her. Far from it. Maybe she could mess with him, just a little. At least until she found out whether what seemed to be between them was simply a mutual physical attraction or if there was something more to it that that, as far as he was concerned anyway. She had nothing more than shameful physical desire for him. That was it.
        
They had nothing in common besides this strange mutual attraction. Though, she supposed he was tolerable as an advanced potions partner, and a pretty good Quidditch player. He had shown that he could be semi-decent at rare points in time. Ginny Weasley! she scolded herself. Don’t even start thinking that Colin may be right about him. Colin is completely clueless as to how dastardly that pureblooded prick can be!
        
There were things that Colin didn’t know about why she detested Malfoy. He had gone along with the blackmailing scheme because he was aware of Malfoy’s general asinine behavior and thought the idea was good for a laugh.
        
Before she had become a victim of blackmail herself she had fully intended on releasing the photos to the general student population after she spent the school year making him do her bidding. Had she been successful she might have considered that enough to sooth her thirst for vengeance. However, Malfoy had to complicate things. He had started by giving her that damnable kiss in the empty classroom. If he would have never done that she wouldn’t be obsessing over the sweet taste of his lips on hers and she could just get her revenge and be done with it!
           
A small voice in her head told her to forget the whole thing. Call it even, just like Colin suggested. Walk away before things got even more complicated. But her stubbornness just couldn’t allow him to get away with everything that easily. She would merely need to put aside her desire for another lip-lock with him and concentrate on her new scheme.
~*~*~


A/N: Thanks for the lovely reviews! I will try to get the next installment up soon now that the site has been reopened :)
At the Beach by Yazethet
Chapter 13

At the Beach

~*~


“She’s up to something,” Draco pondered aloud. It was Saturday afternoon and he and Blaise were studying in the Tower of Travels. It had been raining for most of the week so most students were studying in the library as the common rooms had become crowded with boisterous games of Exploding Snap and loud conversations.

“When isn’t she up to something?” Blaise sighed as he leaned against a palm tree and opened his books. They were on an isolated beach today. The sun glowed brightly in the almost cloudless sky and a soft breeze swept across the sandy beach keeping the temperature bearable. “There is sand everywhere!” Blaise said in annoyance.

Detecting an underlying tension from him, Draco glanced at his friend. “What’s got your knickers in a bunch?”
“Nothing,” Blaise snapped. Draco raised his eyebrows at him indicating he sensed otherwise.

“Fine,” Blaise sighed again. “Colin wants me to go with him to Hogsmeade at the end of October.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Why in Merlin’s name not? I thought you two were crazy about it each other.”

“We are, but...”

“But what?” Draco asked with slight irritation. This conversation was starting to feel pointless.

“I’m not sure I’m ready to go public. This is moving far too quickly, I don’t want to feel pressured.”

“Is he asking you to go public?”

“Well, not exactly...”

“So what’s the big deal? Go to Hogsmeade and have a good time. It’s not like you have to snog each other senseless all over town. In fact, I think most everyone would prefer you not.”

Blaise thought for a moment and then sighed again, “I suppose you’re right. We could just...kind of...hang out.” He started to redden slightly. “We..uh...haven’t really done that yet anyway.”

Draco looked at him with slight disbelief. “You haven’t kissed yet? What the bloody hell have you two been doing up here all the time then?” Blaise opened his mouth to answer but Draco interrupted quickly. “Never mind, I really don’t want to know.” He paused with a smirk, “And you said things were moving too quickly.”

Blaise gave him a half smile. “I am being a bit overdramatic, aren’t I?”

“Just a little,” Draco agreed.

“It’ s just that everyone knows that Colin is gay and I’m sure that if they see us together they’ll assume -” then he laughed slightly realizing how silly he was being, “- I guess whatever they assume would probably be correct. Then again, you spent all that time with Crabbe and Goyle and no one ever assumed you were gay.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” A worrisome look crossed his face. He recalled Blaise thinking he was gay for a very brief period.

“Oh, you know,” Blaise said as if it were obvious.

“I don’t think that I do. Explain.” Draco was feeling a bit nauseated at the subject, but he needed to know.

“Didn’t you know why Crabbe and Goyle followed you around like puppy dogs for all these years?”

Draco shook his head not sure he wanted to hear any more at this point.

“Draco groupies,” Blaise said rolling his eyes.

“What?”

“You’re a bit thick today, aren’t you? Crabbe and Goyle wanted you.”

“I think I’m going to be ill.”

Blaise ignored the green color that was tinting Draco’s face. “Of course, at first they followed you around because their fathers told them to do so, but I think it was about fourth year that they both started fawning over you like little girls.”

“I really am going to be ill.” Draco thought back on the photo. He had hoped it was the alcohol that had driven Crabbe to the madness that he had seen there, though he did get a bit of an odd vibe from him. How many people knew Crabbe was gay? “How do you know all this about them?”

Blaise grinned. “I read Goyle’s diary.”

This brought an incredulous look to Draco’s face. “I didn’ t know Goyle could write.”

“He can’t. His spelling is horrendous and he doesn’t use any punctuation. Honestly,” he said wearily, “it’s like trying to decipher ancient Goblinspeak, which is why I only scanned bits and pieces. Most of it is drivel about wishing it was possible for you to like him and how he and Crabbe stare at your arse all day and -”

“Stop! I get the picture, and I’d rather not, if you know what I mean. How many other people have any idea?”

“People have had their suspicions for a while now. I don’t know how you hadn’t noticed it, what with them both drooling all the time.”

Draco had always assumed the drooling was because they were hungry. Ugh. Having Millicent Bulstrode drooling over him was disgusting, but this was downright repulsive.

“I think they’ve both gotten over you, though,” Blaise continued. Draco listened with interest. “They have a thing for each other, now. They’ ve been going out since the beginning of the year. I think they’re really rather grateful that you’ve been avoiding them.”

There was something very odd about that, but Draco really didn’t want to spend any more of his energy thinking about Crabbe or Goyle. Or them together. That was too disturbing. He had just had a session with his Headhealer that morning and he didn’t want to have to call her back to Hogwart’s for an emergency session.

“So what makes you think Ginny is up to something?” Blaise said after a long pause. He felt slightly better now that he recognized he had probably been worried about nothing. He got the feeling Draco didn’t want to talk about Crabbe and Goyle any longer.

“She’s acting...” Draco was unsure how to put it exactly, “odd.”

“What do you mean, odd?”

“Didn’t you notice in Advanced Potions?”

“No, I was trying to fend off Ambrosia,” he said wrinkling his face in repugnance. “I wish she would just concentrate on the potions instead of on me.”

Draco smiled, “Maybe you should go public and tell her you’re gay.”

“If she keeps it up I just might. It’s getting old and we get absolutely nothing done in class. It’ s ridiculous. Anyway, what did I miss?”

“She’s purposely doing things that drive me crazy. For instance, her hand was constantly brushing up against mine every time she handed me a potions ingredient. And she was always standing closer than normal to me. Not that I minded at all,” he said with a silly grin.

“Sounds like she’s flirting with you.”

“I know. Doesn’t that seem a little unusual to you?”

“Draco, I find the whole relationship that you two have unusual. She blackmails you, you blackmail her, you kiss her, she kisses you. Gods, you two just need to get a room,” Blaise replied with feigned disgust. “Besides, I thought you wanted her to like you.”

“I do, but I don’t think she actually likes me.”

“Then why would she be flirting with you?”

“She’s playing me. It’s like she’s deliberately trying to drive me insane.”

“She’s doing quite a good job at that. So you don’t think that it’s just possible that she’s fallen for you and is trying to show interest?”

“Definitely not. I doubt Ginny Weasley would fall for me overnight. She’s not like most girls. She’s not like any girl.”

Blaise laughed. “Didn’t you fall for her practically overnight? I mean one day you’re furious with her and the next you’re trying to win her affections.”

“Funny you should mention that. I talked to my Headhealer this morning and she thinks I’ve been repressing feelings for her for years. She was quite proud of me, actually. Said it was a breakthrough that I decided I liked her and would pursue her despite knowing my father would disapprove,” Draco said with a hint of pride in his voice.

“I would think that your Headhealer would disapprove of your obsession with someone who is driving you insane,” Blaise pointed out.

“She believes that getting rejected has done wonders for my ego,” he said, the pride he felt a moment before replaced by a small amount of sullenness. “But she can’t reject me forever.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Absolutely. Although,” he said suddenly understanding why she had gone from hating him to suddenly flirting with him, “that, in all probability, is what she intends on doing. She knows I like her, I think I’ve been fairly obvious about that, and she’s still hell bent on getting back at me for - you know, I don’t even know why she’s got this campaign against me. I know that I’ve been a bit obnoxious to her in the past...”

“A bit,” Blaise agreed sarcastically.

“Enough that she would go to all this trouble to make my life miserable?”

Blaise gave him a look that plainly told him he almost certainly had done quite a bit and thoroughly deserve what he was currently getting.

“Bloody hell,” he cursed in frustration.

“So you’ve fallen for a girl who you have spent years making her life miserable just because she’s a Weasley. And now she’s getting retribution by using her womanly wiles to drive you up a wall,” Blaise recapped. “You probably have very little chance of getting her to actually like you because you’ve spent so much time being a git. You’re in an impossible situation, you know.”

“I know.”

“But you’re still going to persue her,” Blaise commented after seeing the look of determination in Draco’s eyes. Blaise shook his head in mild disbelief.

Draco was indomitable about getting Ginny Weasley to forgive him. He might have given up on the whole thing except that he was sure he could feel there was something between them. Or he was fairly certain of it. There was always that lingering doubt she managed to place in his head. He could never be too sure about her. She was so unpredictable, and that was something he loved about her and hated at the same time.

He was simply going to have to let her play her game. At least he was somewhat aware of what she was doing. He’d just play along. In the meantime he was going to need to figure out what he was going to have to do to gain her trust.

~*~*~


Ginny sighed. The common room was full of students with cabin fever and it was starting to wear on her nerves. Normally it wouldn't have bothered her, except she was itching for some sunshine herself. She was waiting on Colin to show up with some food from the kitchen as they had decided to steal away to the Tower of Travels for the remainder of the afternoon.

She knew it was entirely possible that Blaise and Malfoy had the same idea. Colin had mentioned it to her when she first suggested going there that morning. She didn't care. She needed some sunshine, and if she was going to get it in the Tower then it didn't matter who was there.

Oddly, since the day in the library, she found that Malfoy's presence was tolerable. She found it amusing that she could have such an effect on him and thought Colin was right. He did have a thing for her.

Though she didn't use them all that often, she did have some skills in flirting. She was far from the giggly type of girl who was blatantly obvious about liking a boy. Her style was to be a little subtler than that.

She took a little extra care with her looks but didn't resort to an extreme transformation, after all, he already liked her; it wasn't like she was going to have to try very hard. For now, she just needed to continue showing interest.

She hadn't changed her attitude toward him completely. There were still the witty, yet obnoxious remarks that she would make. Those never seemed to bother him, in fact, he seemed to enjoy the repartee. But now she added subtle brushes of her hand against his at just the opportune moment. And she would be in close physical range making sure she was always crossing the border of his personal space.

She could tell that her efforts were worthwhile, as Malfoy had a tendency to be a little jumpy around her, especially since she began this new escapade. She had apparently caught him off guard with this slight change in approach when she was around him. It was amusing to see the normally cool and collected Slytherin basically melt in her presence, though it was barely detectable by anyone else. It was something she could see in his eyes.

Her only problem was the effect that he was having on her. Any time she was near him her head was filled with images of another glorious kiss. It was completely maddening. She'd heard a saying once: if it tastes that good it must be bad for you. How true that was.

Alas, she was determined to see this through. She was going to lure him into thinking that he had a shot at her and then she was going to ensure the whole school was watching when she told him off. It would be total humiliation.

Everyone would know that a Malfoy wanted a Weasley and couldn't get her. She just needed to get rid of any evidence, a photograph in particular, which gave any indication she may have wanted him just as bad. And she was still going to have to go to Hogsmeade with him. That wouldn't look very good either if she wanted things to go as planned. If only she could find a way to get out of that. She still had a month, she was sure she could figure something out.

Colin walked into the common room and indicated she should follow him. Ginny got up and followed him through the portrait.

“Where’s the food?” she asked noticing he wasn’t carrying anything.

“I came across that house elf-oh, what’s his name? Hobby - Bobby-”

“Dobby?” Ginny answered, remembering Harry’s famous house elf.

“Right,” he grinned. “Apparently any friend of Harry Potter gets special treatment so he’s sending up a basket of goodies. I guess he must know where the Tower is.”

“Good, can we go now?”

They headed for the eastern side of the castle and located the ever-changing portrait that was the entrance to the Tower. Today it was a beautiful stretch of sandy beach lined with a string of palm trees that were swaying gently in the ocean breeze.

“Perfect!” Ginny squealed in delight, having her wish for sunshine granted in the most desired way.

At the entrance Colin picked up the basket that Dobby had promised them and headed up the stairs. They opened the door and saw the two they had expected. Colin was overjoyed to see Blaise, Ginny a little less enthusiastic about seeing Malfoy. They were both propped up against palm trees studying and looked a bit out of place sitting on a beached dressed in casual school clothes. Ginny thought Malfoy looked extremely out of place and wondered if he had ever been to a beach with as pale as he was, though she couldn’t say much as her own skin was quite fair.

"How can you be studying?" she said disbelievingly, as she pulled her shoes and socks off to enjoy the sand between her toes. She rolled up her pant legs and started strolling along the beach leaving Colin to chat with Blaise and Malfoy. She stood at the edge of the water letting the waves kiss her toes and was savoring every delicious moment of this brief holiday from the rain.

~*~*~


Draco watched as Ginny strolled casually up and down the beach. She smiled, obviously enjoying herself. He noticed how innocent she looked when she wasn't planning revenge. Looks were so deceiving. He imagined no matter how innocent she may have looked, in reality, she was far from it. It was just one more thing that he found irresistible about her.

She glanced up while he was staring at her and the innocent smile disappeared behind a cunning smirk. Deviousness returned to her eyes.

Yes, she was definitely aware that he liked her and she was almost certainly trying to use it against him. Being in Slytherin, he had seen enough girls use this type of exploitation to get what they wanted, though he had never actually been a victim of such manipulation. He had never liked a girl enough for it to work. Until now.

Ginny approached the three boys sitting near the trees and grabbed a palm frond.

"I’m going for a swim, save me some sandwiches, will you, Colin?”

Colin nodded still engrossed in his conversation with Blaise. The basket of goodies had apparently not been opened yet.

Draco watched as she walked away with the palm frond transfiguring it into a large beach towel as she made her way down the beach again. She spread it out, placing her discarded socks and shoes near on it to keep the slight breeze from blowing it away and then she proceeded to transfigure her clothes into a simple, emerald green, one-piece swimsuit.

Draco’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. He was suddenly very glad that the two other boys on the beach were gay. He hadn’t quite expected to be treated to such a display. The swimsuit left both little and much to the imagination. It covered enough skin to make him wonder what was underneath yet the material hugged her body in a way that showed him exactly what he had been missing with her normal school robes covering her. His eyes roamed approvingly over her shapely body.

“I think I might take a swim myself,” he announced to Colin and Blaise. They both simply nodded again, still engrossed in their own conversation.

Following Ginny’s example, he grabbed a palm frond of his own and transfigured it into a beach towel and then pulled his shirt off and transfigured his pants into black swimming trunks.

Ginny was already swimming by the time he got his shoes off and was completely oblivious to the fact that he had followed her into the water. As she reemerged Draco heard her gasp for air. A look of surprise covered her face. He observed as her brown eyes traveled over his lean form, then snapped back up to his face as if she were trying very hard not to get caught looking appreciatively at what she saw.

Draco smirked.
~*~*~
Why Ginny Hates Draco by Yazethet
Author's Notes:
It's been a while since I updated this one here so I thought I better get back to it. Apologies to anyone who's been sitting on the edge of their seat wondering what happens ;)
Chapter 14

Why Ginny Hates Draco

~*~


“Enjoying the view, Weasley?” Draco commented slyly. He’d waded into the water up to his navel, leaving his full upper torso available for viewing pleasure. He was lean and well toned, as he had taken great care in shaping his body so. His father used to tell him appearance was always of great importance.

He saw a flash of indignation in her eyes before she smirked and answered with equal furtiveness, “And what if I am?”

Oh, she was good. Draco felt his knees weaken slightly as she swam a circle around him, gazing at him as if he were a piece of meat. She knew she had been caught so now she was taking full advantage. Yet another Slytherin trait: bend every situation to your advantage.

“Then again,” she said after completing her circle, “you’re not nearly as muscular as I imagined you’d be.”

“Do I pop into your imagination often?” he teased, raising his eyebrows suggestively.

“Well, it’s just that compared to Harry, you are a bit on the thin side,” she returned, her infamous wicked smile again playing on her lips.

Draco felt an immediate stab of jealousy and let a flicker of it show as she smiled even wider at the reaction she had gotten from him. He wondered where she learned to play this game so well. He was going to need to quit standing around like an idiot and show her that he could play just as well.

She started swimming away, tossing another impish grin over her shoulder. Draco dove forward, caught up with her and then moved slightly ahead so he could cut her off. She swam right into him. Bare skin and very thin material came in contact causing an electric charge to jolt through both of them.

Draco was the first to recover, managing to get his feet planted firmly back on the ocean floor. He saw the slight panicked look in Ginny’s eyes and he knew that she, too, felt the electrical shock at the almost skin-to-skin contact. She covered her surprise quickly, also readjusting to a standing position, but she was still very close to a barely clothed Malfoy.

Draco grinned.

There was most definitely something between them. Draco needed more of whatever it was that caused such a delectable sensation when they were anywhere near each other, but first…

“Since you’re so keen on comparing us, how does Potter’s – how did you put it – ah…demonstration compare to mine?” He grinned cunningly. “Did you need a reminder of what I’m capable of before you make your decision?” He curled his finger under her chin tilting her head so she was gazing up at him. The look in her chocolate eyes told him everything. She was willing to allow this. In truth, he could see that she wanted this as much as he did. He leaned closer to her, his lips almost touching hers. He was slow and deliberate about it, giving her every chance to back away from him, but she didn’t. She was daring him to kiss her.

It had taken every ounce of willpower to pull himself away before delving into her delicious mouth, but he managed. He had her just where he wanted her: yearning for him, but remaining unfulfilled. He stepped back to keep himself from giving into temptation.

“But as I recall, my demonstration was only satisfactory. I’m afraid I can’t quite bring myself to allow your lovely lips another merely adequate performance.” He laid back into the water and started paddling away from her. He noted her look of irritation. He continued in a taunting voice. “Although, it seems I must be improving. I’ve gone from completely lacking in skill to somewhat acceptable. Maybe next time I’ll actually meet your standards. Though, I have to wonder what makes you think that you’re such an expert on what makes for a good kiss. Do you have much experience?”

He turned and dove under the water before she had a chance to answer. He was attempting to lure her into admitting that she had enjoyed the kiss and fully expected her to have a clever retort waiting for him when he resurfaced. Instead, she was flushed red with rage and spoke three words in a low and controlled voice.

“Sod off, Malfoy.”

She turned and began swimming toward shore.

There it was again. Unpredictability. It was impossible to stay one step ahead of her when she had the ability to go off on a completely different tangent than he anticipated. One moment ago she had been matching him comment for comment and now she was furious with him for no apparent reason.

It was impossible to win.

He followed her to the shore where she had wrapped her transfigured towel around her waist. She had her shoes and socks in one hand and her wand in the other.

“Weasley, wait!” he yelled as she started walking toward Blaise and Colin. “I didn’t mean to –” he began, but was interrupted as she turned and jinxed him.

“Tarantallegra!”

His feet began moving quickly in a completely non-rhythmic tap dance that he had no control over. She continued walking away from him. Blaise had apparently noticed his predicament and began to draw his wand, however it appeared Ginny had her wand pointed in Blaise’s direction. Draco couldn’t hear what she said to him, but he was sure that it was a threat as Blaise suddenly withdrew his wand and sat back down.

It was amazing how easily she could command someone who was nearly a whole foot taller than she was, but he knew her fiery temper well and could barely blame Blaise for backing down. His legs, however, were tiring very quickly and he was having problems keeping his balance.

“A little help would be appreciated!” he yelled at Blaise and Colin who both threw him sympathetic looks, yet neither moved to assist as Ginny was probably glaring evilly at them. He couldn’t tell as her back was to him. She was still talking to Blaise and Colin

“Come on, please?” he begged. He was completely out of breath now. Blaise glanced over and shrugged his shoulders indicating that he wished he could help, but he wasn’t going to chance it with the little redhead present.

Draco finally lost his balance and fell over kicking sand high into the air as his legs continued to move without his control. He could only imagine how ridiculous he looked with his legs flailing about in the air. He probably looked similar to a crab on its back trying desperately to get flipped over. The worst thing was he was getting sand in some very uncomfortable places.

“Finite Incantatem!”

Blaise had finally come to his aid, which could only mean that Ginny must have left the Tower.

Colin was looking down at him.

“What the bloody hell did you do to piss her off?” Colin looked a bit miffed.

Draco just lay in the sand trying to catch his breath. “If only I knew,” he said in exhaustion. Blaise offered his hand to help him up, but he shook his head. “My legs feel like jelly, I don’t think I can stand just yet.”

“Is she always like this?” Blaise asked Colin.

“I’ve seen her mad before, but that was far beyond her usual temper. There was only one other time that I’ve ever actually seen her like that.”

“Are you sure about that, Colin?” Draco asked believing that he had seen her temper quite a few times, and that was just since the beginning of the year.

“I’m fairly sure. The only other time I’ve seen her so mad she was on the verge of tears was…um…” he started to become flustered. “It was all my fault, really.”

Colin sat in the sand and told Draco and Blaise his story.

~*~*~


Ginny was fuming. She couldn’t even laugh at the ridiculous sight of Malfoy writhing in the sand with his legs thrashing in the air. She threatened Blaise with the same curse if he made any attempt to assist Malfoy before she had the chance to leave. She had cast a quick dry spell on herself and changed her swimsuit back into her regular clothes before she stalked out the door.

She had failed miserably with plan B. She thought she had been carrying out her plan quite well until his last comment. His last comment had sent her reeling back to one of the main reasons she had decided to carry out this vengeance against him.

She thought that Malfoy really did like her, but it seemed he was only trying to humiliate her again. She had no idea what made her think he would have changed after all these years. He was still the same bastard he was when he first embarrassed her in front of Harry on Valentine’s Day during her first year. And then at the end of second year he had seen the disastrous event with Colin. She didn’t even want to think about it again. It only brought back the same rage she felt then. Just like Malfoy’s comment about being an expert on kissing.

~*~*~


It was the end of second year. Colin and Ginny had met under the stands of the Quidditch stadium mostly to get away from everyone else who was enjoying the beautiful day around the lake. They had been ‘going together’ for about two months, which meant two months before they had verbally agreed to be boyfriend and girlfriend. They were lab partners in potions and sat together in charms. They would eat meals together and have some amusing conversations. Aside from occasionally holding hands, that was really about the extent of their relationship.

It was Ginny’s idea to meet under the stands. She’d been listening to her roommates gossiping about first kisses and boyfriends since the beginning of term and she had become hugely curious about the magic of the illustrious first kiss. She used to daydream that it would be Harry Potter who would be the one to kiss her first, but she knew better than to believe that it would happen in reality. Harry Potter was unattainable. He was a celebrity. There was no reason to believe she would have any chance of gaining his attention when there were plenty of other girls who were far prettier than she. Still, she wanted to know what was so special about getting kissed and thought if she could manage to have her very own first kiss she might have something to share with the other girls in her room.

Colin was sweet. Several of the girls in her year thought he was cute with his light blond hair and sky blue eyes. He always got along well with the girls and never seemed to mind listening to girl talk. He seemed to always have a little juicy gossip of his own to share. He was extremely likable. When he had agreed to be her boyfriend Ginny was ecstatic. He just never made any move to kiss her in the two months they had been going out and Ginny decided it was about time she did something about it.

When they met under the stands they talked about school and other nonsensical things for a while until Ginny steered the conversation to kissing.

“So, have you ever?” she said quietly, feeling a blush rise to her cheeks for daring to ask the question. He shook his head.

“Did you ever want to?” she asked curiously, hoping she wasn’t being too forward.

“Well, I suppose it’s something that we all have to do sometime,” he replied. “Why do you ask?”

She flushed an even deeper shade of red. “I was just wondering, you know, because…we’ve been going together…and…well…” she couldn’t quite get to the point.

“Oh,” he finally said in understanding. “Well, since you are supposed to my girlfriend we should probably try it out. That is…if you want to?”

She had been so relieved he was willing that she just nodded her head.

It had been horribly clumsy. They had both been extremely nervous and had no idea exactly how to approach their first kiss. They bumped heads and bumped noses. When they finally got their lips together there were no fireworks or electric sparks. It wasn’t that she had expected them necessarily, but the way the other girls had talked she was expecting something momentous to happen.

Instead, as they backed away from each other, it appeared that Colin had a highly distressed look on his face.

“What’s wrong?” she asked trying very hard not to panic.

Colin gulped. “I…uh..I don’t think that felt quite right.”

“Oh,” she said nervously. She hoped she hadn’t been that bad. “Should we try again?”

“No,” he answered quickly.

She had been embarrassed before, but now she was starting to feel irritated. He wasn’t even going to give her a second chance. It wasn’t as if he had had done such a wondrous job himself. It had been his first kiss too, or so he had claimed.

“Why not?” She was beginning to let her anger show.

“I just don’t think it would be a good idea. I shouldn’t have kissed you.”

“Then why did you kiss me? Why did you even agree to be my boyfriend?!” She was in a rage now. Her very first kiss had been completely ruined. She didn’t feel magic, she felt embarrassment. He was acting as if he had just kissed a toad. It was extremely inappropriate.

“I don’t know,” was his lame response.

She was furious now. He couldn’t even give her a good answer. She wanted to scream at him for making her feel like flobberworm droppings.

Instead of screaming at him she spoke in a very controlled voice, “I think you’d better go, Colin.”

She could feel the tears of anger building up in her eyes and she refused to let the tears fall in front of the boy who destroyed her first kiss.

“I’m sorry, Gin,” he said in a small voice before he left her alone under the stands.

She had been about to let the tears begin flowing freely until she heard another familiar drawl from behind her.

“So, little Weasel, your little boyfriend didn’t want to kiss you?” he taunted.

She turned to see him leaning against one of the stand supports.

“How long have you been there?” she gasped.

“Long enough,” he smirked.

“Sod off, Malfoy.” Ginny was in no mood to deal with the likes of him, especially after what had just happened.

“Temper, temper,” he clucked. “It’s no wonder Creevey doesn’t want to kiss you. You have a nasty little mouth on you, don’t you?”

“As if any girl likes snogging you,” she shot back, though she had actually heard quite the opposite. “I’ve heard you drool all over the place.”

“What makes you such an expert on kissing?” he frowned. “You couldn’t even get Creevey to kiss you again. After he gets done telling everyone how terrible you were no boy in his right mind would ever want to try to kiss you.”


~*~*~


She remembered him walking off with a smug look on his face. She had kept the tears back until she was sure he was gone and then she had cried her eyes out. Her first year had been terrible enough and it had taken her most of her second year to get the courage to attempt to make friends. She thought that by having Colin as a boyfriend she’d have something in common with the other girls and she could join in their conversations about boys. After what had happened that day there was no chance of her sharing that story with anyone. But Malfoy had to be there. He had watched the whole embarrassing scene and then practically kicked her when she was down, and he thoroughly enjoyed it.

It had not been the only time Malfoy’s spiteful words had hurt her. The following year when the Yule ball had been announced she didn’t want to get her hopes up that Harry would ask her to accompany him, but since he had gone to the Quidditch World Cup with her family she though there might be a small chance he would notice her as more than just Ron’s little sister.

Her hopes had been dashed when Malfoy had told her that Harry was going to go to the ball with Cho Chang and that he didn’t understand what made her think that she could even compare to Cho. She didn’t even know what made him feel the need to tell her about Harry and Cho. She had believed him, however, and when Neville asked her to the ball she had accepted. She could have throttled Malfoy when she found out that Cho had declined Harry’s invitation to the ball and she actually had a chance at going with him except she had already promised Neville.

Then there was last year. She had been dating Michael Corner until the final match of the year between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor when Michael got upset about losing. She had fortunately decided to break it off with him, but he had to go running to comfort Cho afterwards. It hadn’t bothered her until Malfoy had again popped out of nowhere to tell her that it was a wonder that she ever managed to have a boyfriend.

“Sending yet another boy running to Cho? I told you that you couldn’t compare to her,” he had told her. He had always been able to infuriate her with just a few words and that had been the final straw. She was not going to put up with any more of his irritating remarks.

She had hit him with the Bat-Bogey Hex in order to escape to help Harry, Ron and Hermione. She couldn’t believe how good it felt to finally have power over Malfoy. He was simply not going to get away with being such a complete git. The hex was only the beginning. She was going to make him pay for every nasty remark he ever made to her or anyone. It was then that she began to plot revenge on him.

She had failed miserably.

Malfoy was always going to be ten times worse than she could ever be. He would always be able to make snide comments that would remind her that she was entirely lacking in one way or another.

She hated him.

She hated it even more that she had ever kissed him. It was only one more reason for him to mock her.

~*~*~
An Apology by Yazethet
Chapter 15

An Apology

~*~


Draco listened to Colin tell his version of the events that had happened the day he came across Ginny and Colin snogging under the stands of the Quidditch arena. Colin had explained that he had been confused at the time and was still trying figure everything out. When he had kissed Ginny he had suddenly found himself thinking of someone other than who he was kissing and it had scared the bejeezus out of him. He couldn’t explain to Ginny why he couldn’t kiss her again and she had been livid. Colin couldn’t blame her.

Draco remembered giving her a hard time afterwards. Colin, however, had no idea that he had even been there to witness the whole unfortunate situation.

“Gods, I’ve been a royal shit,” Draco stated.

“We already know you are the King of Excrement, but would you care to elaborate on why you’re finally admitting this?” Blaise asked.

“It was three years ago, I completely forgot about it,” he explained. “I was there that day. I basically told her that she was pathetic because she couldn’t get Colin to kiss her again. I had no idea that she’d still be on about that. She never acts like anything bothers her that much. Every time I’ve said anything to her she always has a come back ready for me.”

“Gin’s good about hiding things like that. But what makes you think that she’s still upset about what you said three years ago?” Colin was a little surprised to know that the situation that had upset her so terribly at the end of their second year was the same thing that was upsetting her now.

“I made a stupid comment about her kissing ability. After all, she’d been giving me hell since I kissed her in the empty classroom. I just thought I dish a little back,” Draco admitted.

“I imagine that she would still be a little sensitive since the first boy she ever kissed ended up being gay and you didn’t help matters any by giving her such a difficult time,” Blaise told Draco. “How did you two end up being friends after that?” he asked Colin.

“I begged and pleaded for her forgiveness. She eventually caved.”

“So, persistence pays?” Draco asked, wondering if there was anyway that he could get her to forgive him.

“Well, it did in my case. But I only pissed her off once. I think you probably have a lot of work ahead of you,” Colin said with amusement.

Draco nodded. “I think I’d better get started.” He got up off the sand and yelped in pain.

“You might want to see Madame Pomfrey about that sunburn first,” Blaise mentioned as Draco transfigured his swimsuit back into normal clothes.

“I will, as soon as I send a very important owl,” he said as he left the Tower, obviously uncomfortable with clothes covering the now sun burnt skin.

“He’s got it bad,” Blaise chuckled as he grabbed a sandwich from the basket.

~*~*~


Ginny sat at breakfast Monday morning still berating herself for allowing Malfoy to upset her so badly. He had the uncanny knack of pushing all the wrong buttons at just the wrong time. She had gotten herself in deeper than she had thought and she didn’t know how she was going to get herself out of the mess she had created. She couldn’t possibly go back to pretending she liked him after telling him to sod off on Saturday. Not that it would help any now that she had figured he was playing her for the fool.

She was just about to start beating her head against the table for being so stupid when the daily barrage of owls came sweeping through the Great Hall with mail. She hadn’t expected anything so she sat with he head in her hands waiting for the chaos to die down.

She looked up when a giant scarlet and golden lily was dropped right in front of her. She picked it up and looked around wondering if could possibly have been mistakenly delivered to her. She had been sitting with Colin and his brother Dennis. Harry, Ron and Hermione had skipped breakfast for unknown reasons that morning.

Another owl flew by again dropping yet another giant lily in front of her.

“Wow! Giant Firelilies!” exclaimed Dennis, who was well known for his talents in Herbology. “Those are really rare, you know.”

Another flower fell in front of her. She looked up to see at least three-dozen owls flying in, each with another Giant Firelily clutched in its claws and heading in her direction. People were beginning to stare at the scarlet and gold display that was now streaming through the Great Hall. One by one each owl delivered a Giant Firelily to her. All she could do was stare in bewilderment at pile of flowers and wonder where they had all come from.

At last she received an owl with the final lily and a simple piece of parchment with only two words written elegantly in dark green ink: I’m sorry.

She looked up at Colin who was staring at the pile of exotic flowers. His hand covered an apparent smile on his face.

“Colin,” she said suspiciously. “Do you have any idea what this is all about?”

“I think so,” he said holding back a laugh. “But I think we’d better get these flowers out of here.”

He helped her gather the flowers into three different bunches and magically bound them together.

“They smell lovely, don’t they? Almost like roses, just a little sweeter,” Colin observed as they approached the Gryffindor common room.

“Yes, they do. But what is this all about?”

“Why don’t you bring these to your room? I swear I’ll tell you everything I know when you get back.”

“Colin –” she began, but she was interrupted.

“Go on, I’ll meet you here.”

She shook her head in confusion, but carried the flowers to her room anyway. When she opened the door she saw another single Firelily on her bed lying on top of another piece of parchment.

She quickly transfigured three rolls of parchment into vases and placed the Firelilies in them. She picked up the note and read: Please forgive me.

It was signed.

Her heart stopped as she read the name Draco Malfoy.

She would have never dreamed that she would ever in her life receive any type of apology from Draco Malfoy. Especially not one of this magnitude. She had no idea what to think now.

How could he do this to her? He couldn’t just send her a bunch of beautifully exotic and rare flowers and expect her to forgive him. He’d spent years tormenting her, why would he change now?

She glanced back at the card and noted the graceful lettering was oddly familiar. It occurred to her that she had received another lavish gift not too long ago. Attached was an unsigned card congratulating her on making the Quidditch team.

She dug through her trunk desperately trying to find the card so she could be sure. When she located it she set it right next to the other two pieces of parchment. The handwriting and the dark green ink matched exactly. Her knees gave way and she dropped to the floor in utter disbelief. She was still staring at the pieces of parchment.

Colin had been right.

But what did Malfoy expect her to do? Did he assume that she’d go running to him and tell him that she would just forget about every mean thing he’d ever done? It was just wrong. He couldn’t just start acting nice all of a sudden and expect her to accept it; she didn’t care how gorgeous he was with his shirt off.

She ran back down to the common room still clutching one of the Firelilies in her hand.

“Where is he?” she growled as she reached Colin.

“You mean Draco?” he replied, taken aback by the vexed tone in her voice.

“Yes,” she hissed, becoming extremely impatient.

“He’s in the hospital wing. What’s wrong?”

She never answered. She was already rushing out the portrait door.

~*~*~


Draco was lying on a bed staring the high ceiling waiting for Madam Pomfrey to return with another concoction to help ease the pain of his sunburn. Next time he was going to remember to cast a sunscreen charm on himself. He had waited until Sunday morning to get to the hospital wing as it had taken him a good part of Saturday evening to arrange to have three-dozen Firelilies to be sent immediately to Hogwarts.

When he arrived Madam Pomfrey made him strip down to his boxers to put a salve on that would help keep his skin from peeling and blistering any further. Unfortunately his skin had an allergic reaction to whatever was in the initial mixture, so he was stuck in the hospital wing for at least another two days.

He jumped slightly when he heard the door to the infirmary open with force and turned to see a redhead storming in his direction. He hadn’t been expecting to see her.

“What the hell is the meaning of this?” She quickly glanced up and down his body realizing that he was lying on top of the sheets in only his boxers. He hid a smirk as he noticed the swift once over.

“What do you mean?” he asked innocently.

“This!” she hissed as she threw a Firelily down on his bare chest.

“Ouch!” It stung, as his skin was still very tender. He looked at her in confusion. He thought he’d been very clear. “I just wanted to say I was sorry.”

“Sorry? Sorry? You can’t expect me to simply accept that you of all people would ever want to apologize to me!” she yelled.

“Why not?”

“Because it’s wrong!”

“It’s wrong to apologize?”

“No, it’s wrong for you to apologize!”

“What? Look, I’m sorry –”

“Don’t say it! You are incapable of being sorry!”

Draco sat in silence. She didn’t want to listen to him. She was completely insane. This was not how he expected her to react to the flowers.

He saw that Ginny was about to speak again when Madam Pomfrey showed up.

“Ah, Mr. Malfoy. I have something new for you to try.” She looked up and saw Ginny standing there. She gave her a stern look. “Miss Weasley, if you’ll be so kind as to step behind the curtain. I do not believe Mr. Malfoy is in an appropriate state of dress for visitors, though I’m sure he appreciates the flower, dear. Thank you.” She pulled the privacy curtain around the bed as Ginny stepped back, flabbergasted at the thought that Madam Pomfrey could mistake the flower as any type of kind gesture on her part.

Madam Pomfrey applied the new mixture to his skin using her wand to produce a fine mist. She quickly swept it over him and then indicated he should lie back down under the covers.

“If you are going to have young ladies for visitors, Mr. Malfoy, I suggest you at least cover yourself.”

“Yes, Madam Pomfrey.”

“Very well, then. I will be back to check on your progress. Hopefully you don’t have another reaction to this.” She pulled the curtain back. He was almost shocked to see that Ginny was still there. Madam Pomfrey bustled away to her office leaving them alone.

“Why did you send me the broom?” she said, crossing her arms and glaring at him. At least her tone was no longer bordering on hysterical.

Draco placed his hands behind his head and turned his head toward her.

“Are you actually going to let me answer that? Or are you going to claim I am incapable of being nice as well?” he asked with a touch of cynicism in is voice.

“I don’t know,” she replied, still glaring at him.

“Fine.” He sat up again. “First of all, in case I haven’t been painfully obvious about it, I like you,” he declared.

“Well, I don’t like you,” she retorted.

“You won’t even give me a chance,” he pointed out.

“Why should I? You’ve done nothing but antagonize me since the first day I met you!”

“I realize that, which is why I sent you three-dozen Giant Firelilies. Did you like them?”

“Yes – No. Don’t change the subject!”

“I’m not changing the subject,” he returned with a slight grin on his face.

“What the bloody hell makes you think you like me?” she asked in exasperation.

“I don’t think I like you. I do. Deal with it.”

“I will not ‘deal with it’ you arrogant prat! I demand that you stop it!”

“Stop what?” he queried, his grin broadening. He reveled in the fact that he was getting under her skin.

“Stop liking me. It’s completely uncharacteristic of you.”

He laid back down resting the back of his head on his hands again. He sighed. “I would, except you drive me completely insane, I’ve never met anyone like you and, oh, yes, when you kiss me I begin feeling delightfully dizzy. It’s quite maddening, you know,” he stated matter-of-factly. He had been completely honest with her.

She stood staring at him, mouth agape. She blinked and shook her head slightly as if to bring herself back to reality.

“You are insane.”

“That’s why I’m seeing a Headhealer. Now, will you at least give me a chance to show you that I’m not the complete git you think I am?”

“No,” she said still a little dazed from his revelation.

“You still owe me a Hogsmeade visit,” he reminded her.

“I’ve got to get to class,” she said suddenly, still looking as if she were completely lost. She turned and left the hospital wing.

Draco smiled, feeling victorious, at last.
~*~*~
The Fiery Goddess by Yazethet
Author's Notes:
Much love to my awesome beta, Nyghtinggail, who is making it possible for me to finish this fic without losing my sanity. Thank you!
Chapter 16

The Fiery Goddess


~*~


She was at a masquerade. The walls of the ballroom were made of mirrors making it appear as if thousands of people filled the room. She looked at her reflection and saw her own attire. She was dressed in a deep, forest green gown made with layers upon layers of satin and chiffon. Her vibrant red hair was in beautiful contrast with the dress, falling in soft curls around her shoulders. She held a plain white mask in her hand.

She pulled the mask to her face and began wandering slowly through the crowd of people who were standing or sitting in groups of fours and fives. They appeared to be socializing, but they glanced in her direction as she made her way to the middle of the room. There she saw a tall, mysterious stranger who was dressed in elegant black dress robes. He was holding a sparkling silver mask over his face. He extended his hand out to her as if he had been expecting her.

Ginny took it.

He led her to the dance floor. She followed, constantly looking into his eyes. They matched the silver mask that covered his face. She was completely mesmerized. The music started playing, a strange, slow waltz. He bowed to her. She automatically curtsied in return. He pulled the mask away from his face as he placed his hand at the small of her back and pulled her close. She stared up. She was dancing with Draco Malfoy.

She felt her heart racing as he led her around the ballroom in a slow waltz, never removing his gaze from hers. She was confused but she continued to dance. She was still transfixed as he gave her the trademark Malfoy smirk. Everything began to spin. He continued to look into her eyes and she began to get dizzy. Everyone else in the room turned to a blur of grey as he continued to take her around and around, faster and faster.

He pulled her closer and leaned towards her ear. She could feel his breath as he whispered, "You want me."

She closed her eyes and could feel his lips brush against hers before she suddenly felt like she was falling...


~*~*~


Ginny bolted upright in bed. She looked around and saw she was not in the ballroom dancing with Draco Malfoy, she was in her bed in her room in Gryffindor Tower. Her heart was still beating rapidly and she could still almost feel his lips on hers.

She flopped back down on her pillow pressing her hands to her face. She wanted to get Draco Malfoy out of her mind. She couldn't possibly go back to sleep knowing he was lurking in her dreams now.

She lay there for a while trying hard to think of something else, someone else. Then the scent of roses filled her nostrils.

No. Not roses. Something slightly sweeter.

She turned and saw one of the Giant Firelilies lying on her pillow. She had been idly toying with it before bed. The girls in her room squealed excitedly upon seeing them arranged by the window. Some of them had been at breakfast and saw the whole spectacle of the flowers being delivered. Ginny had a very difficult time trying to avoid any questions that they had. She thought about tossing them out the window, but they were so beautiful and she absolutely loved the scent. It was practically intoxicating.

She thought about what he had said that morning in the hospital wing. He flat out told her he liked her. He even told her that her kiss made him 'delightfully dizzy.' She was sure he was barmy. Perhaps he’d had a little too much sun.

Ginny absently placed the lily to her nose again and inhaled the sweet aroma. She still couldn't quit thinking about him. There was that annoying buzz of exhilaration whenever she was anywhere near him. She couldn't get his entrancing gray eyes out of her mind. He was showering lavish gifts on her. And he had apologized in an incredibly romantic way. She could feel herself giving into his charms.

Why was she fighting it?

He was attractive, intelligent, and rich. And when they kissed...

She sighed. Why was she still thinking about him?

She berated herself for her lack of will-power. Charming though he was, Ginny was not going to accommodate his need for her to see him as anything but a spoiled, arrogant arse.

~*~*~


By Thursday morning it was all over the school that Ginny Weasley had a secret admirer. Ginny had refused to disclose the identity of the person who had sent her the flowers, claiming that she really had no idea, and there was massive speculation that it had been Harry Potter.

She had informed Harry the night before that she was quite aware that it wasn’t him and 'No, she wasn’t developing another schoolgirl crush on him again'. She noted the slight look of disappointment when she mentioned it. Ron had become agitated and demanded to know who was daring to send his little sister dozens of expensive flowers. She was glad that he had no idea who it was that had sent her the flowers. Hermione had been excited about the whole ordeal and was a little disappointed that she had missed the show. She had been the only one to make any type of connection between the broom with the unsigned card and the flowers.

“They’re both awfully expensive gifts so whoever it is must come from a well-to-do family!” she observed. This only set Ron off again as most known moneyed families were Slytherin, though, fortunately, Hermione informed him there were a few others spread out through the other houses.

The only people who knew where the flowers came from were Colin, Blaise and, of course, Malfoy. She was glad that he missed Advanced Potions on Tuesday due to his allergic reaction to the sunburn ointment that Madam Pomfrey had applied to his skin. His presence in class would have only served as a major distraction as she couldn't concentrate on not liking him while he was whipping up brilliant potions right next to her. She had been grateful for prefect duties and Quidditch practice, as they kept her mind occupied with things not associated with the blond Slytherin. At night, however, she was constantly dreaming about Draco Malfoy; therefore, when she woke and she would be thinking about him.

She kept trying to reason with herself and tried to go back to intensely disliking him, but found that difficult, especially when every dream she had would be yet another highly romanticized version of him. In each dream he would whisper something in her ear and softly brush his lips against hers. She could never quite remember what it was he said, but she would wake up and she could practically still feel his lips on hers.

She didn’t know what caused the sudden dreams, whether it was the fact that he had told her straight out he liked her or if it was simply withdrawal. After another almost-kiss, she was about ready to drag him into an empty classroom so she could satisfy her hunger for another good snog. The dreams weren’t helping any.

At breakfast, she poked at her food in distraction, ignoring the amused looks Colin was giving her. When another owl landed in front of her, however, she quickly snapped back to reality. It carried an envelope and a small package. She glanced up, automatically looking in the direction of Draco Malfoy. He gave her a coy smile.

Ginny opened the letter slowly and saw, written in the same elegant handwriting of her previous notes, a poem.

She read:

~

When first we met I should have known

Life would never be the same

But I made your life so miserable

Though I hated only your name

~

Deep in my heart I knew I felt

There was something more to you

It was ignorance that prevented me

From believing that was true

~

When I allowed myself to see you

For what you truly were

A beautiful, fiery goddess

My world became a blur

~

It took some time to realize

My terrible mistake

I only hope that you forgive me

For my sanity's sake

~

For now my eyes are open

To the exquisiteness that you are

You cause madness within me

When I see you from afar

~

I crave to hold you in my arms

And taste your lips once more

Your kiss brought me such pleasures

I have never felt before

~

And so my Fiery Goddess

Whose mere presence brings me bliss

I have another gift for you

Your spirit is reminiscent of this:

~


Her cheeks turned a deep shade of crimson while reading the poem. She was grateful that Colin was the only one seated at her table that morning and hoped no one else in the Great Hall noticed as she hastily opened the package. Inside was a perfect miniature of a liondragon, also known as the Chinese Fireball. Its long sleek body appeared to be made of real dragon skin that radiated slight warmth as she held it in her hands. The flaming red mane, which almost matched the color of her own hair, framed the dragon's head and followed its back all the way to its tail. It was amazingly soft and Ginny wondered if the mane had been made of real liondragon fur as well. The eyes looked as if they were made of obsidian, as they were jet black in color, though at second glance she could have sworn they flashed a bright green for just a moment. Its wings were spread and its mouth was wide open as if in attack mode.

She was fascinated with the flawless reproduction of the liondragon. It was absolutely gorgeous. She had always found the liondragon one of the most beautiful creatures, despite its perilous nature.

There was one thing she had to say about Malfoy's extravagant gifts, he had exceptionally good taste.

She ran her finger down the vermilion mane to feel the soft, realistic fur again, but when she did so this time the figurine sprang to life. She jumped back a little, surprised by the sudden movement of the figure. It stretched its wings and leapt into the air before her. It did a graceful loop and then landed on her arm, at which point it stretched out its lithe body and then folded its wings and proceeded to wrap its snakelike form around her wrist turning itself into a bracelet. It flicked its tongue quickly and then closed its eyes as if it had fallen asleep.

She looked at her arm in amazement at first. She had never seen anything like it. She attempted to remove the dragon from her wrist, but it wouldn't budge. It was fixed snugly around her wrist.
"It won't come off," she informed Colin as she again tried to pull the dragon off her wrist. She didn't want to pull too hard as it almost seemed alive and she didn't want to hurt it, or worse yet, she didn't want it to hurt her.

"Maybe there's a spell or something,” suggested Colin. She checked the box for any sign of an incantation. She found an inscription on the box:

With radiant eyes of obsidian

And a silky mane of ruby red

The Fiery Goddess watches o'er you

While you rest your weary head


She looked up again in the direction of Malfoy's usual spot at the Slytherin table and saw that he was no longer there. The bell rang so she pulled down her sleeve over the sleeping dragon and proceeded to her first class. She'd have to talk to Malfoy during Advanced Potions.

~*~*~


Draco watched across the Great Hall as Ginny opened the gift he had chosen for her. He found that he enjoyed watching her when she received one of his gifts. The surprise on her face and the hint of genuine excitement he saw in her eyes was unexpectedly satisfying. He wished he had been in the Great Hall to see the Giant Firelilies delivered. He'd heard the rumors about Ginny's secret admirer and could only imagine the commotion he had caused. He was, however, displeased that most people believed the flowers had come from Potter.

He had never before gone to such lengths to gain a girl's attention, but was finding the whole experience quite enthralling. He had to be creative and he was proud of coming up with what he had. He was fairly sure the flowers were already working their magic on her and he hoped the bracelet would do its job as well. He would soon see.

She knew that the broom and the flowers were from him, and by the look she gave him she knew that the Fiery Goddess Bracelet was also from him. It minutely disturbed him that she was claiming not to know who had sent the flowers, though he wasn’t quite sure why. Maybe it had been because Potter was getting credit for something he had done.

He thought despite Ginny’s capriciousness, he was beginning to figure her out, particularly after Monday’s confrontation. A little truth irritated her, but a whole serving of it seemed to take the wind out of her sails. He was hardly a fan of the ‘honesty is the best policy’ philosophy, but it was useful at times.

She was undeniably stubborn. Normally, his charm was enough to get the results he wanted, and though Ginny wasn’t immune to his charms, she was certainly capable of fending him off. He wasn’t sure what she would do now. He didn’t know whether or not she was still trying to conspire against him. It was for this very reason that he chose the to send the Firelilies and the liondragon bracelet. They had a very special purpose in addition to being a form of bribery for her forgiveness.

He had watched as the miniature dragon came to life and wrapped itself around her wrist as he had intended it to. He smiled to himself and quickly left the Great Hall before she could storm over to him demanding that he tell her how to remove it, as he was sure she was about to do when he slipped out the door.

~*~*~
The Dream Whisperer by Yazethet
Author's Notes:
Again, many thanks to Nyghtinggail!
Chapter 17

The Dream Whisperer

*~*~*


Ginny arrived at Advanced Potions early hoping that Malfoy would be there. She was disappointed to see that he hadn’t arrived yet. She sat at their usual table and pulled her Advanced Potions book out of her satchel in preparation for the day’s lesson. She opened it and the poem that Malfoy had written was lying before her for the hundredth time that day. She knew she was being ridiculous, but no one had ever written a poem for her before.

She had been studying during lunch and must have slipped it into her Potions book before she left for the dungeons (she must have read over it at least two dozen times while she was studying). Malfoy had given her his typical smirk during lunch when she had glanced in his direction. She couldn’t approach him then, however, as she had been sitting with the trio again. By the time they left for their class, Malfoy had already gone.

She still blushed slightly as she read over the poem again before she was determined to put it away for good, or at least until she was alone in her room.

“Didn’t know I was poetic, did you?” a voice purred into her ear. She trembled slightly at his nearness, but promptly recovered.

“You probably write this stuff all the time,” she commented, hoping he hadn’t seen her blush. “I’m sure that’s probably part of the standard Malfoy plan of seduction: send exotic flowers, buy expensive gifts, write romantic poetry. I told you I’m not interested,” she lied. She didn’t look into his eyes for fear he would see right through her. Instead she focused on appearing as if she were browsing her text book.

He took his seat next to her. “Romantic, eh?” he smiled. “I think I’ll take that as a compliment. Would you believe that’s actually my first attempt at poetry?”

“No,” she replied still unable to look him in the eyes.

“You’re right, that’s actually my second attempt. My first attempt was ‘There once was a man from Nantucket - ”

“I believe I’ve heard that one before,” she interrupted before he could complete the well-known lyric.

“Yes, well, imagine my disappointment when I discovered I couldn’t take the credit for that clever rhyme,” he grinned. “Therefore, you have the very first Malfoy original. You should frame it, someday it may be worth a lot of money.”

Ginny couldn’t help but crack a small smile. His conceit never ceased to amaze her. “Alright, oh, poetic one, now that I know that you’re the one who sent it perhaps you can explain how I get this off,” she said as rolled up her sleeve revealing the sleeping liondragon bracelet.

“First of all, I think you knew I sent it when you received it this morning. I doubt Potter would have quite the poetic abilities or taste in jewelry that I do,” he answered with a trace of resentment at speaking Harry’s name. She bit her lip to keep from laughing. So he had heard the rumor about Harry being her supposed secret admirer.

He reached for her hand and carefully examined the bracelet on her wrist. The moment his fingers touched hers she felt that vaguely familiar jolt of exhilaration. It was far too distracting. She needed him to tell her how to get the bracelet off, even if she did fancy the way dragon looked spiraled around her arm.

“Second of all,” he continued silkily, “it looks good on you. I want you to wear it, so I’m not going to tell you how to get it off, yet.”

Ginny pulled her hand back. “I already told you, I-I’m not interested,” she repeated. Unfortunately, it didn’t sound as convincing this time.

“Then why did you kiss me?” he asked with a wry smile.
Fortunately, Professor Snape entered the classroom at that very moment, preventing Ginny from answering the one question she didn’t really have a suitable answer for. The class was informed that they would be spending next week’s class periods in the Forbidden Forest taking a look at various potion elements in their natural environment.

“We will be meeting at the edge of the forest instead of here,” he told them. “Bring only your wands, books will not be necessary. I trust none of you will forget.”


He proceeded to give them a lecture on the variety of ingredients they would be finding in the Forbidden Forest. They needed to be able to survey their surroundings and gather the necessary components to create a potion of their choosing.

“You will find that some ingredients found in the same environment have a tendency to be the basis for some very interesting potions. Additionally, at the right concentration in their natural environment, you will find that those ingredients collaborate to create a rather intriguing phenomenon,” he finished just as the bell rang. Ginny gathered her things quickly and left before Malfoy had the chance to speak with her again.

After Quidditch practice, Draco took a quick shower and headed to his room. He was anxious to see if he could get the bracelet to work.

It was part of a Dream Whisperer.

He had come across a smooth, oval slab of obsidian mounted on a flat piece of black marble in Hoodwink’s Detection Devices, a shop in Knockturn Alley that specialized in apparatuses used for spying. A dream transmitter simply needed to be placed on someone and he’d be able to receive images from the subject on the obsidian piece. He was intrigued by the possible mischief he could make using the magical item and purchased it over the summer on a whim.

He owled Decippio Hoodwink, the proprietor of the Hoodwink’s, and ordered the dream transmitter to be placed in the Fiery Goddess bracelet. The eyes of the dragon would normally be made of dark tinted glass, but he had them replaced with the enchanted volcanic glass that was magically linked to the obsidian viewer. Draco was actually quite amazed that he had received it in only three days, though it probably helped that he ordered the bracelet from Enchanting Embellishments, a jeweler his mother was quite fond of, and had it delivered directly to Hoodwink for the alteration.

He pulled the viewer out of his trunk and sat on his bed preparing to chant the incantation to establish the link. It was a clever device, however, it still required a good bit of magic from the user to get any images. According to Hoodwink’s instructions, he needed to concentrate on his subject (which wouldn’t be difficult, as he was thinking about Ginny constantly) and then cast the spell that would enable the Dream Whisperer. In order to avoid too much mind-clutter, his subject needed to be asleep for the best reading.


Draco knew that she would be awake for a while, but he thought he’d practice a little. He aimed his wand at the piece of obsidian and said, “Aspicium Specto Somniosus!”

The viewer started to emit a greenish glow and then faded into a deep purple. He saw extremely blurry figures emerge from the purple background. He could make out a few objects such as a Bludger and a pile of books, but he couldn’t recognize any of the shapes that represented people. The viewer became full of hazy images. It wasn’t any wonder that it was practically useless while someone was awake. He never realized the conscious mind was capable of so many thoughts at once. He raised his wand to say the spell to disengage the link, quite satisfied the Dream Whisperer worked, then he caught a glimpse of one of the blurry faces that clearly had a familiar lightning bolt mark on his forehead.

“Quieso Specto!” he murmured and the viewer went black again.

There wasn’t a logical reason for it, but he still felt the pang of jealousy at Potter’s image. Ginny was supposed to be thinking about him, not Potter. The Firelilies were supposed to ensure that she couldn’t stop thinking about him, at least while she was inhaling their sweet aroma, anyway.

He wondered how long it would take her to figure out that the Firelily was classified as an aestusamori passiflora, otherwise known as a passionflower. Passionflower pollen was the principal ingredient in many love potions.

~*~*~


Four hours later, well past midnight, Draco decided to try the Dream Whisperer again. He was still a little vexed about seeing Potter’s image earlier in the evening and so his first attempt at making the link failed. The volcanic glass only flickered a dull green before going black again.

He cleared his mind and focused on Ginny again.

“Aspicium Specto Somniosus!” he chanted, waving the wand at the obsidian. This time it went from bottle green to bright white, illuminating the entire room. Goyle stirred slightly and Blaise rolled over. Draco quickly drew the curtains around his four-poster so as not to disturb them any further. His earlier effort didn’t bring this type of reaction from the viewer. He gazed down at the whiteness and saw a very clear image this time.

The white appeared to be caused by huge, billowing clouds. It was like looking into a room stuffed full of cotton. He watched as the image shifted slightly as if he was peering through some else’s eyes. Then he realized that was exactly what he was doing. He was seeing the dream though Ginny’s eyes. In the distance he could see a snakelike object slithering gracefully through the clouds. It was the fireball red. As it approached he saw that it was a liondragon, and it had a rider.

The liondragon hovered in the air for a moment and then landed softly, folding its wings back and resting its head on the surface of the clouds. Its mane flowed gently as if there was a breeze and sitting amidst the flaming red fur was the rider. Draco saw that it was an image of himself holding one of the Giant Firelilies.

It was a very odd feeling watching himself offer the flower and then extend his hand to assist the dreamer in mounting the dragon, but he was elated to see that she was dreaming of him.

Now he knew the flowers were working.

He watched from Ginny’s point of view as the red sky serpent took off and soared into the night sky, a stark contrast from the clouds they were in before. He couldn’t feel the dream as Ginny could, but just watching was a thrill of its own. The liondragon would dive into the puffy white clouds and then emerge into the starry heavens above again. It did loops and twists and figure eights and then it took another dive and began spinning. Suddenly the viewer went dark. It hadn’t gone off, it was just dark. The image of spinning clouds came back again for a moment and then the darkness returned. He realized that she must have been closing her eyes in her dream, just taking in the sensation. He almost wished he could experience it with her.

The next image he saw was a set of grey eyes. It took a moment for Draco to register that they were his own and then realized that her gaze had switched to his lips. He was grateful that the image went dark again as she closed her eyes once more as it was very strange seeing himself from the other end of the kiss, as he assumed that is what had happened.

The viewer stayed dark for another minute or two and Draco was about ready to speak the spell to stop the link when the viewer returned to the dark purple color he had seen the first time he tried it.

She was awake.

The blurry images came back, but this time they weren’t so out of focus he couldn’t tell what they were. Only three images entered the screen this time. The bracelet, some lines from the poem, and an almost clear image (oddly from a third person point of view) of him snogging her.

He smiled and whispered, “Quieso Specto!” The obsidian went completely black again.

He was glad no one had a Dream Whisperer attached to him, as he was sure that his dreams were quite inappropriate for anyone to be watching.

~*~*~


“You just mind your own business or I will tell Hermione about the toilet incident, Ronald Bilius Weasley!” Ginny never usually would have stooped to taunt him about the toilet incident (especially in front of a girl she was almost positive he liked) or called him by his full name, except she was furious.

He had seen the bracelet during Quidditch practice and demanded to know who was sending her the gifts.

"If it’s a bloody Slytherin I’ll hex him!” he said, wringing his wand in his hands.

“You’ll do nothing of the sort!” she yelled.

“So he is a Slytherin!” His face flushed red and his eyes grew large.

“I didn’t say that,” she said coldly.

“It’s that Zabini prat, isn’t it? You’ve been awfully chummy with him lately. I see you two studying in the library.”

“Oh! For Godric’s sake, I’m not seeing Blaise! He’s g-” she started to say gay but caught herself before revealing the secret, “good at Potions is all. Snape says I have to study with him to make sure I get an Outstanding Potions OWL.”

“I don’t believe you. You’re not telling me something.”

“I don’t tell you a lot of things, dear brother,” she retorted. She knew he was trying to be good older brother and protect her from all things slimy or Slytherin, but it was really getting old.

“I’m going to owl Mum.”
Ginny’s eyes narrowed at this threat. “Then I’m going to go find Hermione.” She threw her clenched fists down at her sides and turned on her heel with the full intention of embarrassing her brother.


“Wait!”

She stopped. She knew he’d see things her way.

“Don’t tell Hermione anything. Please?” he begged.

“Are you going to owl Mum?”

“Gin, it’s not right! These expensive gifts only mean one thing-”

“Ron, I am perfectly aware of what you think it means and I can’t believe you would insinuate that I would ever let myself get into that situation. Maybe if you sent Hermione a romantic gift or two you’d be a lot further along than you are.”

“What makes you think I should send her a romantic gift?” He tried hiding the fact that he had a crush on his best friend.

Ginny rolled her eyes. “Okay, then you won’t mind if I tell her about that little incident -”

“Alright, I won’t owl Mum. Happy?”

“No, I want you to quit being such a git. I have, and always will, choose whomever I wish to date and it’s none of your business which house I choose from, got it?”

“Fine. I’ll stay out of your love life as long as it doesn’t include a Slytherin.”

“I think Hermione would be in the library at this hour,” she said turning to leave again. She heard a groan.

“Okay. But I don’t have to like it,” he said through gritted teeth.

“I’m not saying you do.”

“But if he does anything to hurt you I will jinx him into the next millennium!”

Ginny smiled. Sometimes the overprotective brother syndrome was helpful.

“I will give you express permission to do just that should that particular situation ever occur.”

Ron gave her a sheepish grin. “Hey, Gin?”

“Hm?”

“Do you suppose Hermione would really like it if I got her something?” Pink tinged his cheeks once again.

“She would adore it, I’m sure,” she replied with a saucy grin.

She could see the excitement spread over his face. “I suppose I really shouldn’t worry about you too much. I mean, you can do a brilliant Bat-Bogey Hex and with that Chastity Charm Mum put on you I doubt any guy would survive trying anything with you.” He laughed.

“Mum did what?”

“See ya, Gin!” he said heading out the portrait leaving her in a state of disbelief.

~*~*~
In the Forbidden Forest by Yazethet
Chapter 18

In the Forbidden Forest

~*~


Draco was watching Ginny again. She was sitting amidst a large group of Gryffindor fifth and sixth years near the lake. They were laughing at some joke that Seamus Finnigan had told. He loved watching her laugh. Everyone seemed to be outside as it was a beautiful early fall day. He had been studying with Blaise in the shade of a tree not too far from the group of Gryffindors.

He had caught her eye a few times while she was conversing with her friends and had given her a grin when she looked up to see that she was being watched. She’d always look away quickly, but he could see by the way her lips curled in a half smile each time she looked away that she was enjoying the attention.

He had spent the past three nights watching her dreams. He found them fascinating, especially since he seemed to be featured in each one. So far, his favorite had been her most recent one. She'd fought him in that one and even cast some type of protective shield around herself to keep him at a distance but he'd flown in on his broom, shattering the barrier, and swept her off into the night sky where she could resist his charms no longer.

It suprised him that she hadn’t approached him again about removing the bracelet. He got the distinct impression that she was avoiding him, despite the fact that she was constantly looking in his direction.

Had it not been for the gaggle of Gryffindors that surrounded her, he would have walked right over to her, wrapped his arms around her, and snogged the daylights out of her. He was patient, however, as he was confident he would soon have another chance, once he could get her alone.

He watched as she casually leaned against Colin. She folded her hands across her abdomen and was absently stroking the mane of the sleeping dragon that was curled around her wrist. He wondered if she was thinking about him. His reverie came to an abrupt halt at the sound of his name being sung from across the lake shore.

“Draacoooo!”

He visibly cringed at the sound of the high-pitched, overtly flirtatious voice. Pansy Parkinson was approaching. Draco swiftly glanced at Blaise who had a sympathetic, yet amused look on his face.

“What do you want, Pansy?” he said in annoyance. She carefully situated herself next to him before she answered.

“I just wanted you to know that I broke it off with Maxi," she grinned coyly at him.

"How unfortunate,” he responded with just a smidgen of sarcasm. “Now if you don't mind, I was busy studying."

“It’s not unfortunate, silly,” she giggled. She apparently couldn’t take a hint. “He was a bit of a bore, really. Nothing like you were,” she cooed.

He and Pansy had an odd relationship with a long, twisted history. She was always trying to gain his affections. Sometimes he would indulge her fantasies; most times he would not. She knew that he wasn’t the type to have anything more than a casual fling with a girl, but she was always striving to be the one to change that. Draco was well aware of it and was growing tired of her shameless attempts at making him fall for her.

Her latest endeavor had been to make him jealous by dating another wealthy, good-looking Slytherin by the name of Maximillian Fletcher. It failed miserably since he really didn’t care. He had hoped that she would realize that an actual relationship with him was out of the question and would stay with Max. He was a perfect match for her, really. Pansy was all about money and societal standing and the Fletchers met both qualifications. However, Draco was sure that Pansy didn’t want to settle for anything less than the best, and while the Fletchers were wealthy and carried a certain amount of respect with their name, it did not quite compare to the Malfoy riches and power.

He was barely listening to her ramble on about how terribly unromantic Maxi was and how someone should be showering flowers and gifts on her instead of that wretched Weasley girl. He was still watching Ginny and saw her glance in their direction again.

Pansy chose that moment to rest her head on his shoulder while lacing her hands around his arm. She was reminiscing about the good times they’d had together when they went to the Yule Ball.

Ginny had been smiling, but her face changed immediately when she noted Pansy’s position. It was a mixture of distaste and disappointment, but she turned away before Draco could pull away from Pansy’s grasp and make any attempt at giving her some sign that Pansy’s company was unwanted. He cursed silently, wondering how much of a setback the incident would be. He hoped the Firelilies would continue working well enough until he could completely sweep her off her feet.

He was trying to find a tactful way of telling Pansy to bugger off when he noticed the group of Gryffindors had dispersed and were heading back toward the castle. He assumed that Ginny would be leaving with them, however, she stayed behind for a moment and then started walking towards him. The frown she wore only moments before, was replaced by a mischievous smile.

Draco only had a few moments to ponder what it could possibly mean before she was standing in front of him. He saw a wicked gleam in her eyes.

“Draco, I just wanted to tell you I love the bracelet,” she said in a manner that was obviously meant to make Pansy jealous. She took a moment to admire the expensive piece of jewelry. “You’re right, it does look good on me.”

She leaned down and brushed her lips lightly against his cheek. “And I want to thank you again for the lovely flowers. It was very sweet of you,” she said flirtatiously.

Draco’s mouth fell open.

Blaise bit his lip to keep from laughing.

Pansy looked ready to kill.

“See you in class, Draco,” she said sweetly as she continued toward the castle.

“Is she nutters?” Pansy finally said when she recovered from the shock of what Ginny had done. “She actually thinks you’re her secret admirer! Can you believe the audacity! What would make her think that a Malfoy would ever consort with the likes of -” It was that moment she saw the lopsided grin Draco wore as he watched Ginny walk toward the castle.
Draco hardly noticed that Pansy had stormed off. He was still stunned. Most girls would have gone into a jealous rage, but he reminded himself that Ginny wasn’t like most girls. Perhaps the little scene with Pansy wasn't such a setback after all.

~*~*~


The Advanced Potions class assembled at the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Professor Snape gave each of them a map and assigned them a section of the forest to explore. He gave them specific orders to avoid wandering too far into the forest, as the centaurs would not take kindly to those entering their territory. They split up into three groups and headed into the forest.

After over a week of the dreams and constantly thinking about Draco Malfoy, Ginny had finally come to the conclusion that she would have to give Malfoy the chance he had asked for. She was convinced it was for her own sanity.

She was going to approach him with her decision on Sunday. However, when she saw him with Pansy she thought perhaps it had been wise that she had informed him she wasn’t interested. She should have been thanking her lucky stars that she hadn’t made a complete fool of herself by giving into his charms. He seemed to have the attention span of a two-year-old when it came to women.

Still, she couldn’t help feeling the need for a little retribution. If he wanted to get back together with Pansy, so be it. She just wasn’t going to make it that easy for him. Her little scene at the lake was strictly for Pansy’s benefit, and she hoped Pansy would give him the third degree afterwards.

She tried to believe that it was a relief that he had moved on to someone else. There was no reason for her to be jealous since she had turned him down. Yet, she wondered why relief felt so bad. Why had he gone to all the trouble if he was only going to lose interest?

“I think we’ll need to take this path,” Ginny said as she checked the map. She was making no attempt to be friendly or show him any type of emotion. He wasn’t even worth spending the energy for her to be angry with him. She was going to get rid of the flowers, demand that he tell her how to remove the bracelet and she was going to toss the poem. She’d keep the broom, however, as she felt she deserved at least that for all that she had been through. Then maybe she could forget that any of it had ever happened, assuming that the dreams would stop, too.

“You never answered my question,” he said suddenly.

“What question is that, Malfoy?” she asked curtly. They were still following the path.

“So it’s Malfoy again? What happened to Draco?” he asked amused, yet slightly befuddled at her chilly tone.

She stopped. She could feel her temper rising and she swore that she wasn’t going to spend any more of her energy on him.
“Here,” she said rolling up her sleeve revealing the sleeping dragon. She kept her tone cool, she didn’t need him to think that she gave a rat’s woogus about him or anything that he gave her. “Tell me how to get this stupid thing off and you can give it to Pansy.”

His mouth slowly curled into a smile. “No.”

“What?”

“Why would I give it to Pansy?” He was inching closer to her. “I didn’t get the bracelet for Pansy, I got it for you.”

He took her hand and brought it to his lips.

She wished she could think of a spell to keep the blush from rising to her cheeks.

“You are my Fiery Goddess,” he said softly as he released her hand, “not Pansy.”

Ginny took a step back. Nervously, she turned and started heading down the path again. She was completely unsure of how to react to that. It reminded her of one of her dreams. It was surreal. Perhaps he hadn’t already lost interest.

“I think we’re almost there,” she said trying to act as if nothing had happened. She tried to hide the giddiness that she felt.

Draco followed her further down the path.

They came to a clearing full of a variety of flowers and mushrooms. Ginny surveyed the area trying to memorize all the possible potions ingredients they could gather when they returned on Thursday. Today they were here to observe.

Ginny leaned against a tree. Draco did the same, but he was looking at her, not the clearing.

“We’re supposed to be observing our surroundings,” she commented.

“I am looking at my surroundings,” he replied with a devious grin.

“I doubt you’ll find any of the components we need by looking at me,” she tried not to return the smile, but was finding it difficult.

“We have all the ingredients here to make a simple distraction draft.”

“You haven’t even taken a look around. How would you know?” She eyed him suspiciously.

“Walk to the middle of the clearing and look around.”

She followed his instructions and as soon as she hit the middle of the clearing she suddenly felt like she lost her sense of direction. She couldn’t think clearly. He called her to come back and she complied.

“The effect will clear off in a few minutes,” he laughed.

“What effect?” she asked, finding it very difficult to concentrate.

“Never mind. You were going to answer a question for me.”

“I was?”

“You were going to tell me why you kissed me.”

She concentrated very hard on answering the question. She knew the right answer was in her head somewhere. “You smelled good,” was all she could come up with.

Draco was still smiling broadly.

“Would you kiss me again?” He couldn’t resist.

Again, Ginny concentrated on answering the question. “I think so.”

“Now?” he asked cunningly as he leaned closer to her. She moved toward him ready to obey, then the fog that invaded her head dissipated and clarity returned. She stepped back quickly.

“You prat!” she yelled and reached for her wand. It was gone. He was holding it. “What did you do?”

He had a wicked smile on his face.

“There’s a high concentration of Jobberknoll feathers over there, along with sneezewort, scurvy-grass, leaping toadstools, lovage, and dittany. At the focal point all the ingredients react together and have an effect similar to a basic truth serum and confusion concoction,” he explained. “You’d be too confused to tell your innermost secrets, but gullible enough to answer a few questions and highly susceptible to suggestion, though only for a few moments of time. I was just demonstrating what Snape was trying to tell us in class about strange anomalies when ingredients combine in a natural setting.”

“Shall we see what happens to you, then?” she said poking her finger at him. He stepped back.

“I think I’ll pass,” he answered, laughing.

“I don’t think so,” she teased as she pushed at him again.

“I - ouch!” he yelped as he tripped over a fallen log and dropped her wand.

Ginny saw her chance and grabbed her wand.

“Windgardium Leviosa!”

She levitated him to the middle of the clearing and then dropped him on his bum. He yelped in pain again. She gave a satisfied smirk.

“Now you’re going to answer a few questions for me.”

“I am?” he asked as he got up. His eyes had glazed over slightly and she knew he was confused.

“Yes. How many girls have you kissed?”

He stood there for a moment and then started counting slowly on his fingers. He stopped and then started over again. He did this three times before he finally answered, “I don’t remember.”

She rolled her eyes. She should have known.

“Do you still like Pansy Parkinson?”

He answered almost instantly and with a clear look of disgust, “No.”

She was pleased with this answer, but she wondered just how susceptible to suggestion he would be. After all, he had tried tricking her into kissing him again.

“Dance like a ballerina.”

She started giggling as he began to pirouette around her followed by some amazingly graceful leaps and turns. He ended in an arabesque just as lucidity returned to him. He grinned awkwardly.

“Shall we call it even now?” A slight pink tinged his face.

“How did you know about the focal point?” she asked. She had been impressed by his knowledge, even if he had used it against her.

“I’ve read about them and I’ve been to this clearing before. Fortunately, no one was with me to make me do embarrassing dances. But you didn’t have to drop me into the focal point just so I’d answer your questions.”

“I wanted to make sure that you are aware you won’t get away with anything should I decide that you’re worthy of my company,” she teased. “I always get my revenge.”

“I’m sure you do.”

“You’re quite graceful, you know,” she continued in her playful tone.

“Mum insisted on dance lessons when I was younger,” he explained. "And I was actually quite good. It takes a lot of strength and flexibility to manage some of those moves. The art of ballet is greatly underrated." He quickly added, "But that's just my opinion; you are under no obligation to share it with anyone else."

She giggled at the thought of Draco Malfoy taking ballet lessons. "On the contrary, I feel quite obligated to share that information with everyone I know."

"No one would believe you," he answered as convincingly as he could, but Ginny caught the flicker of desperation in his eyes that practically begged her not to utter a word to anyone about it. It amused her even more.

“You still didn’t answer one of my questions,” she pointed out.

He stepped closer to her again. “I don’t think it matters how many girls I’ve snogged.”

He leaned down and kissed her fully on the lips. She felt his arm slide around her waist. He pulled her closer to him. She found that her arms automatically wrapped themselves around him. She was no longer in control. At first the simple pleasure of the pressure of his lips on hers was enough. In her dreams she was only teased with a slight brush of his lips against hers, always waking longing for more.

Now she had more, but it still wasn’t enough. She darted her tongue into his mouth coaxing him to further explore hers. He did so, slowly and sensually. He took his time tasting her. His hand slide up and down her side leaving her skin tingling and wanting more.

Ginny wanted to stay wrapped in his arms enjoying the pure bliss that it was to fulfill this desire. It was by far the longest kiss they had shared at this point. However, it was not nearly long enough.

They both heard the unquestionable sound of someone clearing their throat with the express purpose of gaining their attention.

With utmost haste they disentangled themselves knowing they had been caught. In the rush, however, they managed to fall back into the focal point and instantly fell under its temporary spell.

~*~*~
Another Gift by Yazethet
Chapter 19

Another Gift

~*~*~


“Just what in Salazar’s name do you think you’re doing?” Professor Snape said through gritted teeth.

Under normal circumstances both would have held their tongue. However, they were under the temporary influence of an environmental effect caused by a high concentration of several magical components occurring within a small radius.

With glazed eyes and a slight hesitation, Draco answered truthfully. “We were snogging.”

“Forty points will be deducted from each house! And a detention for each of you! I hope you feel it was worth that,” Snape growled.

Still affected by the anomaly, Ginny felt compelled to answer, “Yes, it was.”

Snape was infuriated. “Mr. Malfoy, Miss Weasley, follow me.”

They complied. They followed him back down the path for a short period of time before the effect wore off. Ginny and Draco exchanged embarrassed grins, but knew better than to make any attempt at conversation. They were in enough trouble as it was.

~*~*~


She and Draco had gotten a lecture on how inappropriate their behavior had been, especially since they were prefects. She actually thought it rather amusing how uncomfortable Snape was discussing it with them. When they served their first detention in the potions classroom after dinner he indicated they should sit at separate desks on opposite ends of the room.

Professor Snape told them to begin writing about the phenomenon of ecological amalgamation and how it has relevance to the creation of potions. He must have assumed that neither of them had done any part of the assignment, as he was apparently surprised to see that both she and Draco were able to produce slightly over three feet on the subject.

They waited in silence as he read through both rolls of parchment and then informed them that he would not ask the headmaster to revoke their prefectship. Ginny was relieved, as she hardly needed to deal with a howler from her mother. He also informed them they would be serving detention until Friday doing menial tasks like scrubbing cauldrons and shelling bristle-backed snails.

When she finally reached the common room she was relieved to see Colin was still awake and proceeded to fill him in on the events of the previous days, including her performance in front of Pansy at the lake. She had been wary of telling him about her descent into insanity over Draco Malfoy during the last week. Colin knew her well enough to see that she had been distracted, and she was fairly sure that he knew why. She had just avoided the subject in attempt to avoid any discussion about it.

“Colin, what am I doing?” Ginny asked in exasperation. She buried her head in her hands. It was late and she had just finished telling him about detention.

“I fail to see the problem here. He likes you. You like him. I think that’s pretty straightforward.” Colin had the innate ability to simplify things to the point they should make sense. However, she disagreed with his logic.

“Need I remind you how much of a git he’s been in the past? Not to mention the fact that he has snogged so many girls he can’t even remember how many! I’m probably just another potential notch on his belt.” Her stomach dropped at the thought of this possibility.

“It almost sounds as if you want to have some type of relationship with him,” Colin grinned. “Perhaps more than just snogging?”

“Alright. I’ll admit, kissing him is...” she sighed dreamily and failed to find a suitable description of kissing Draco Malfoy.

“I figured so,” was Colin’s amused answer.

“How awful would it be to get involved with someone purely for the sake of snogging them?” She was going completely against her own code of actually liking a boy before kissing him. Though, it wasn’t her fault. Draco had been the one to force his delectable lips on hers and ever since she couldn’t seem to get enough.

“Do you really think that’s the only reason he likes you?”

“That’s the only reasonable explanation I can give for even pondering the possibility of going out with him.”

"You mean you would go out with him just because he’s a good kisser?” Colin laughed. “And I though you were worried about being ‘just another notch’. Maybe Draco ought to be the one worried about being another notch on your belt.”

“As I’m sure you’re well aware, Colin Creevey, I have no notches on my belt,” she returned defensively. According to Ron, her mum had made sure there wouldn’t be any until an undetermined time in the future by casting a Chastity Charm on her. She still wasn’t sure whether he had said that out of spite or if it was something that was, indeed, true.

“I can’t say that I would blame you if all you wanted to do was snog him,” he grinned obnoxiously. “He is a bit of a dish.”

“Colin! What would Blaise say!” she laughed.

“He would agree with me. Fortunately, for you, Draco has clearly informed Blaise that he is not gay. Otherwise, you might have some competition. And so would I for that matter,” he said, still grinning wickedly.

“That settles it! I’m simply going to have to stake my claim to save your relationship with Blaise,” she declared jokingly.

“You just do that.” Colin smirked.

“I can’t believe I’m actually debating this,” she sighed.

“I can’t either,” Colin agreed. “You think too much, Gin. If you want my honest opinion, I think you ought to just go out with him. I think there’s more to it than snogging.”

"You’re right. I’m also getting showered with expensive gifts. Fabulous presents and fabulous snogging! What more can a girl ask for?” she said cynically.

“That’s not what I mean, Gin,” Colin said a little serious now. “I know you’re not about material things. And you’re not about snogging either. I think you see something in him and you’re just afraid to admit it.”

She wondered how Colin was able to read her so well. Sometimes she thought he knew things about her even she didn’t know.

“So how are things with you and Blaise?” she asked abruptly changing the subject. She had no reason to admit anything to Colin. Admitting anything aloud had a tendency to put a reality to something she’d rather not deal with.

Colin gave her a look that said ‘I’ll let it go for now, but we’ll talk about this later’ and proceeded to tell her about his blooming relationship with Blaise.

~*~*~


“I can’t believe Snape caught you two snogging!” Blaise tried to control his laughter.

“I can’t either,” Draco sighed. “We got detention and house points taken for it. But she said it was worth it.”

“Oh, really?” Blaise said in amazement. “That must have been quite a kiss.”

Draco beamed. “It was.”

“So things are moving along between you two?” Blaise asked curiously.

“I don’t know,” Draco answered as he furrowed his brows. “She so damned erratic. You saw what she did at the lake, right?”

Blaise nodded.

“She went from that to trying to tell me to give the bracelet to Pansy, can you believe that?”

Blaise looked confused. “Then how did you two end up snogging?”

“I think it was something in the air.” He smirked. It only confused Blaise more. “But she did say it was worth the punishment, and I’m fairly sure that was the truth. And she’s been dreaming about me every night. That’s got to mean something, even if the flowers are helping it along,” he pondered aloud.

“Wait a tick, what do you mean by that? And did she actually tell you she’s dreaming about you every night?”

Draco bit his lip. He was thinking aloud again. He’d gotten into that habit on occasion after he started seeing a Headhealer. He hadn’t told anyone about the secret behind the flowers or the bracelet.

“Blaise, I’m going to tell you something, but you better swear not to breath a word about it to anyone.”

He decided he better give Blaise an explanation otherwise it would get mentioned offhandedly to Colin and then Colin would in turn say something to Ginny. Blaise was typically very good about keeping secrets, as long as he knew that he was supposed to keep them.

“What did you do?” Blaise asked suspiciously, knowing Draco was being his usual sneaky self.

Draco explained the Dream Whisperer and the passionflowers.

Blaise shook his head in disbelief. “When she finds out, she’s going to kill you.”

“You mean if she finds out,” Draco grinned. “She’s not going to, remember?”

“If you say so,” Blaise sighed.

~*~*~


“Detention again?” Hermione was appalled. Ginny was eating breakfast with the trio and Colin again. She didn’t really want to say anything about the detention, but had to because she was going to miss Quidditch practice that night. Harry was Captain and he was going to need a reason for her inability to show up so she racked her brain in trying to come up with one.

“What did you do this time? Sprinkle fairy dust in the dungeons? I can’t believe Snape gave you detention again!” Harry said in exasperation.

“I’m going to miss Friday’s practice, too,” she said meekly. She was beginning to feel very sorry about getting caught. She hoped she wasn’t going to have to answer any more questions about why she had detention.

Ron, at least, seemed to be highly distracted and kept looking around nervously. He didn’t seem to be paying any attention to the conversation and merely grunted at the revelation of her reason for missing practice.

“You’ve got detention until Friday! But why?” Harry was obviously a little more than irritated. Two missed practices were not good for the team.

Ginny was on the verge of answering his question, her mind was quickly trying to come up with believable lies. Colin, however, began to answer for her.

He gave a devilish grin. “She was caught snog - OW!” he began. Ginny delivered a swift kick to his shin under the table.

“- s - socking Malfoy! In Advanced potions!” she finished hastily. She kicked Colin again.

“Ouch!” he said glaring at her.

“That ingrown toenail acting up again, Colin?” she asked forcefully. Colin could be so obnoxious some days. Harry and Hermione just eyed them both suspiciously.

“You punched Malfoy!” Ron had finally returned his focus to the conversation. He seemed absolutely giddy at the thought.

“Um, yeah. Not a big deal, really,” she replied reddening slightly. She was still cursing Colin under her breath.

Ron was about to ask her to elaborate, however the morning mail came sweeping into the Hall. Ron glanced up nervously. He looked as if he were torn.

“I - uh – have to go finish my homework!” he said quickly and rushed out the doors.

Hermione and Harry exchanged confused glances and then Pigwidgeon landed at the table with a small package tied to his leg.

“Looks like he got a package,” said Harry upon recognizing Ron’s miniature owl. “I’ll bring it to him.”

He began untying the package when the miniature owl nipped at his fingers. He pulled back, rubbing his fingers where he was bitten.

“Pig, what was that for?” he asked, offended.

The small owl began hopping directly toward Hermione and held out its leg in front of her as he twittered politely.

Ginny smiled. She wondered if Ron had actually listened to her for once. “Looks like Pig was given specific instructions on who the package should be delivered to,” she said with a slight giggle.

Ginny saw Hermione blush slightly as she pulled the small package carefully off of Pigs leg. The moment it was released from his leg, Pig took off. She opened the box and pulled out a piece of parchment that had obviously been folded several times for it to fit into it.

They all watched as she read over the contents of the parchment. She turned an even deeper shade of pink. She looked into the box again and pulled out a locket in the shape of the Gryffindor emblem that was attached to a delicate gold chain. She opened it and gazed at it for a moment, then smiled to herself and closed it again.

“I’ve got to go!” she announced suddenly, grabbing the package and running out the doors. Ginny was sure she was off to find Ron.

“Well, it’s about time!” Harry commented, smiling as Hermione left the Great Hall in a rush.

“Now we need to find someone for you!” Ginny exclaimed, feeling the sudden urge to play matchmaker.

“So, has your mystery man already staked his claim?” Harry asked. Again, she saw that flicker of disappointment in his eyes.

“I...don’t know...” she said with uncertainty.

Harry cocked his head curiously and looked as if he was about ready to say something more, but Ginny decided it was a good time to excuse herself from the table.
~*~*~
The Broom Closet by Yazethet
Chapter 20

The Broom Closet

~*~*~


“I’ll see you at dinner, Colin!” Ginny walked briskly toward the broom closet which was situated just outside the Quidditch arena. She felt so guilty about having to miss practice all week that she decided she would skip lunch and do some drills on her own. She opened the door and headed straight for the Pegasus Vortex that was mounted on one of the upper racks. She cast the charm and spoke the password to unlock the broom from its current position.

“Vexatio Mercatus Dissolutum!” she whispered. She had placed an extra hex on the broom just in case anyone thought to attempt to steal it. If anyone did, they would bear the mark of a thief and receive a rather uncomfortable jolt whenever they came near the broom. It was something she had learned from her older brother Bill during their last visit to Egypt. Bill had also informed her that the mark could only be removed with an Ignosco Potion (also known as the pardoning potion), which had to be brewed by the person who cast the initial curse. One of the key ingredients for the potion was jawajuice and was typically very difficult to come by as jawas could only be squeezed on the first day of a Leap Year so he warned her only to use it on something extremely expensive or precious.

“Don’t you think that’s a bit drastic for a broom?”

Ginny didn’t have to turn around to see whom the voice belonged to.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Malfoy,” she stated as she summoned the broom.

“That was the counter-spell for a rather nasty thievery curse. You should be more careful and look about to see who’s listening. First of all, I’m sure that particular hex is against Hogwarts policy and second of all, I now know how to steal your broom.”

She turned around to see him smiling slyly at her. She silently commanded her heart to stop beating so rapidly, but she knew it wasn’t going to listen. It never did when she was around him anymore. Common sense told her to fight the urge to snog him again. There was no purpose to it.

Aside from the sheer ecstasy of his lips against mine, she reasoned.

“If you wanted to steal the broom then why did you send it to me in the first place?” she countered. “And since when did you ever care about Hogwarts policy on broom security?”

She was impressed that he was even aware of ancient curse, though it really shouldn’t have surprised her. It was just the type of thing he would be interested in. She grudgingly reminded herself that ancient hexes were also something that fascinated her. She was finding the growing number of things that they had in common rather alarming

“I don’t want to steal your broom, I was just making an observation. And you’re right. I’ve never really cared for Hogwarts rules on the type of hexes we are allowed to use to safeguard our equipment. I find the ones that are permitted are quite pathetic in terms of security and I’d rather not have my broom stolen either,” he commented with a smile.

“Really?” she paused and raised her eyebrows at him. “Sternax Detrudo Dissolutum!” she said and flicked her wand at Draco’s broom, also a Pegasus Vortex. The hex he had placed was one that caused anyone who touched the broom to be thrown to the ground with force. It was a much stronger repelling spell than typically allowed at school. She spoke his password and released it from the rack with a levitation spell and then set it down at his feet.

His eyes widened in amazement that she knew the curse and how to disengage it. The wrist movement was usually a little tricky.

“Perhaps you should be the one more careful about checking your surroundings for unwanted eyes and ears,” she mocked. “I could have stolen yours.”

“Touché,” he replied silkily, still gazing at her with fascination. “It’s a good thing I got you your own.”

She sat on the bench in attempt to ignore his gaze and began examining the bristles. She wanted to keep the broom in top condition and had gotten into the habit of performing light maintenance on it prior to and after taking it out. She doted just a little longer than usual on the task assuming that Draco would quit gawking at her and take his broom out to the pitch, leaving her a moment’s peace. She was in serious need of gathering her thoughts and was becoming frustrated with her inability to control her desire to taste his lips again. He needed to leave before she was tempted to give in.

“You have your broom now, aren’t you heading out to the pitch?” she said casually, still not looking up at him.

“I didn’t come for my broom.” He was smirking again. She could tell just by his intonation.

“Oh,” she said, still keeping her casual tone. “Well, I’ve got drills to do. Harry is a little upset that I won’t be making it for practice tonight, so I better get going.”

She wanted to get up and make a quick exit, but he was between her and the door, and her legs refused to allow her to move from the bench.

He sat beside her.

“Malfoy - ” she began, but as the scent of his cologne found its way to her nose she was suddenly distracted. Merlin, why does he do this to me?

“Why are you fighting it, Ginny?” he asked earnestly. “And don’t tell me that you don’t know what I’m talking about.”
She looked up and met his grey eyes.

Damn him for having such mesmerizing eyes! she thought.


She sighed. “Malfoy – ”

“Draco,” he corrected.

She paused. “Alright, I’ll admit, you’re quite proficient with your snogging abilities, though, obviously you’ve had a lot of practice,” she muttered with just a little sourness. “So go ahead and add me to the incredibly long list of girls that have taken pleasure in your kisses.”

He smiled. “I’m glad to hear I’ve finally met your standards.”
She gazed at him for a moment. All common sense left her. The words came tumbling out of he mouth before she even realized how insane she was being.

“You’re right. I’m tired of fighting this insane urge kiss you. What I need to do is get you out of my system,” she said with a bit of irritation.

Draco was actually taken slightly aback. “What do you mean, get me out of your system,” he said, still grinning amusedly.

“Don’t you find this – this –whatever this is that we have -”

“You mean mutual attraction?” he interjected.

“Yes! NO! Yes... Don’t you think it’s odd? I don’t even like you!”

“So you continuously remind me. Tell me,” he said crossing his arms across his chest and continuing to smile devilishly, “how are you going to get me out of your system? Though I must admit really rather enjoy the fact that I’ve finally been able to get into it.”

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t believe I’m even suggesting this,” she muttered half to herself. “This is not the type of thing I would ever normally consider, but right now I see no other way around it.”

“And what is it that you’re suggesting?” He was finding it humorous that she was still in denial.

“Let’s have whatever absurd fling we need to have and get it over with!”

“You mean snog each other senseless until we get bored?” he clarified.

“Exactly.” She ignored the hint of levity she sensed coming from him.

“Sounds good to me,” he agreed flippantly. “I suppose we can meet in broom closets and empty classrooms between classes until we, as you so delicately put it, ‘get this out of our systems’.”

“Right.”

“You do realize we’re in a broom closet right now.” There was mischievousness in his voice.

“Right,” she said again, though this time with a little uncertainty.

“Shouldn’t we be snogging?” he asked inching closer to her.

“Right,” she repeated for the third time. She was slightly breathless at the thought of another kiss.

“We never did get to finish what we started in the forest,” he said leaning even closer. Ginny wondered if he could hear her heart pounding and again thought that it was highly disturbing that Draco Malfoy could do this to her.

“Ri –” she began again, but was interrupted by his lips gently caressing hers. She felt his fingers brush lightly through her hair and she let out an audible sigh as he slowly began trailing soft kisses from her lips to the nape of her neck and back again. When he reached her mouth he took his time tasting her again and she followed suit. But just as she was ready to deepen the kiss he pulled away gently.

“There’s one flaw to your proposition,” he said fixing his eyes upon hers.

She couldn’t believe he had pulled away to speak.

“And what’s that?” she said with a trace of annoyance at getting interrupted again.

“What happens if we don’t get bored?” he asked, the cunning smile returning to his lips.

It wasn’t something that she had thought of. She was insistent that it was a phase. He couldn’t seem to stay with one girl long enough to remember her name. She wasn’t about to let herself get too emotionally involved with someone who was incapable of anything more than a careless fling. They were destined to get bored of it at some point, they had to. Ginny didn’t think she’d let him go as far as several other girls apparently had. And once they reached that stopping point he would surely want to move on to someone who was willing.

It had occurred to her that Ron was probably right. He was after one thing. But this thought didn’t really faze her. She felt perfectly capable of dealing with anything he thought he was going to try on her. For now she would just enjoy the most amazing kisses she’d ever experienced in her life.

“I’m pretty sure that will eventually happen, so I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you,” she said resolutely. She was still a bit peeved that he stopped just to ask such a silly question.

“Come to Hogsmeade with me.”

Ginny was puzzled by the unexpected change in subject.

“I’m already going to Hogsmeade with you, you dolt. I lost the bet, remember?”

“I want you to come with me because you want to.”

He was serious, and she was thoroughly confused.

“I thought we already agreed just to get this snogging business over and done with,” she said adamantly.

Draco chuckled slightly.

“It's funny. Usually I’m the one who uses girls to fulfill my needs. I didn’t think I’d ever be on the other end of that situation.”

Ginny glared at him. “I thought that it would be the ideal solution to this insanity. I’m getting tired of dealing with all these romanticized notions I keep having of you,” she grumbled in frustration.

She was beginning to wonder why her thoughts were flowing so easily from her brain to her mouth.

“Romanticized notions?” his eyebrows perked up in curiosity. He was well aware of her dreams, but it was interesting to hear her admit to having any type of fantasies involving him. “And what kind of romantic notions do you have of me?”

“None of your business. But I’m sure it stems from the fact that you’ve been playing the part of Casanova. I’m not going to be another one of your victims. I’m not falling for all this romance that you’ve been trying to drown me in,” she said defiantly.

“I thought that was the type of thing every girl dreamed of,” he commented, slightly puzzled that she claimed not to enjoy it. Though it did seem that she was in the mood to deny quite a few things.

“Has this really worked on all of your other victims? You can’t tell me that you haven’t had a girl or two figure your little game out.”

He thought for a moment. “I’ve never actually had to go to such lengths for anyone else before. Girls usually fall right into my arms without a second thought,” he quipped with the ever-present smirk.

“So I should feel special then?” she returned with sarcasm. She hardly believed that no girl had ever actually challenged him.

“Yes. And it’s odd that you should mention Casanova. He used love potions and entrancing charms. I rely solely on my good looks and charm,” he replied with a slight air of arrogance.

She fought back an amused grin, but failed.

“Yes, and that’s why you sent me the Firelilies, right? Just being charming as usual?” she gave him a knowing look.

“I thought you’d enjoy them,” he said in a very poor attempt at acting innocent, though he realized that he’d been caught. He was shocked she wasn’t on the verge of sending and unforgivable curse his way. In fact, she seemed to think it was comical.

“I doubt I enjoyed them as much as you thought I did. It’s a good thing my roommate, Mo, is allergic to flower pollen. They were de-pollinated the first day I got them.”

“What?” Draco blinked in surprised. “So you haven’t been affected by the Firelilies at all?”

“No. Though I wish I were, then I’d have a decent excuse as to why I like kissing you so much. I spent a good amount of time in the library on Monday researching passionflowers after a little chat with Dennis and Neville about Firelilies. The scent is completely harmless without the pollen.”

Draco found this bit of information very intriguing. One corner of his mouth lifted in amusement. “Then I am winning you over with my charm.”

“I wouldn’t say that either. I would have strangled you for sending me the passionflowers, but I find it rather quaint that you would have to resort to such means to get a girl to like you.”

“But you don’t like me,” he stated.

She shook her head. “But you still think you like me. Though I have to wonder if you just like snogging me and have the two completely different ideas confused.”

“I like both,” he said simply.

“Whatever,” she sighed with glib indifference. “I admit to the enjoyment of snogging you and that’s it. So we can have this casual fling or whatever you want to call it. Then when we’ve had enough we go our separate ways. I can go back to properly loathing you and you can go back to detesting all Weasleys.”

“What if I decide I want more than just snogging?” he said with an impish gleam in his eyes.

“That’s too bad. I won’t let it go any further than that,” she responded firmly. Then she had to wonder what exactly he meant by ‘more’.

“I guess we’ll see about that, won’t we?” the corners of his mouth curled up in a devious grin. “So do you want to come to Hogsmeade with me?”

“No. What are people going to think seeing me with you? Why don’t we just stay here and snog,” she offered. She had the feeling that he would consider Hogsmeade an actual date. A date would be stepping too far out of the casual fling boundary. And she would much rather spend the day in a secluded room snogging him.

“Let them think what they want. And you’re still coming with me,” he insisted.

“I thought you said you wanted me to come only if I wanted to.”

“I didn’t say only if you wanted to come, but I thought it would be nice that you come willingly.”

“I’m not going.”

“Have you forgotten? I’m the son of a Death-Eater. I’m well versed in the techniques of the Imperius curse. You will come with me and you will have a good time, whether you want to or not,” he taunted.

“And thus the true secret of the seemingly undeniable Malfoy charm is revealed!” she returned with a sarcastic smirk. “I thought it was suspicious that so many girls fell so easily into your arms.”

“That would include you,” he informed her. “And I haven’t used the Imperius curse on you.” And then he added just to see how she reacted, “Yet.”

“I highly doubt you have the skill to control me with an Imperius curse,” she said with confidence. “And I’m only using you for a good snog. I haven’t fallen into anything except your lips.”

“If that’s what you really want to believe. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, you know.” He chortled slightly at her continued insistence that connection they shared was little more than a physical attraction.

“I’m not in denial,” she said determinedly.

“Your actions tell me otherwise,” he teased.

Ginny looked as if she wanted to say something, but she couldn’t think of a proper retort. He was right. She had been careless and had shown jealousy toward Pansy. But she wasn’t going to make that mistake again.

“But if it makes you feel better, I’ll allow you to continue believing that, until I decide otherwise,” he said when she was silent for a moment.

“Until you decide? I don’t think so. And when the hell are you going to tell me how to get this bracelet off,” she said in more annoyance at herself than anything. She loved the bracelet, but by wearing it he probably was going to continue to assume she was falling for him. “Merlin only knows what kind of spell you’ve tried putting on this thing if you were desperate enough to send me the Firelilies.”

“I wasn’t desperate when I sent you the lilies. You were irrationally mad at me and I needed a little bit of an edge to keep you from hating me any more than you already did, though apparently they didn’t really serve their purpose as you had them de-pollinated. Yet you are still talking to me. Don’t you find that interesting?”

“No.”

“And I find it remarkable that you haven’t made much of an attempt to get the bracelet off,” he continued.

“This is the third time I’ve asked you, remember.”

“For as stubborn and determined as you usually are that seems hardly an attempt. But I will grant you your request tomorrow.” A surreptitious smile lingered on his lips.

“Fine. I need to go practice.”

She was growing irritated at herself. She was allowing Malfoy to get to her and that was the last thing she needed. She wasn’t entirely sure that all she wanted from him was a good snog. But that was all she was going to expect of him. Even if he claimed that he liked her she still found it hard to believe that he could last two minutes if anything became serious. If she didn’t expect anything then she couldn’t be disappointed.

“Later, Casanova,” she said as she stood up and swept past him.

“I had one more comment for you,” he said as he followed her.

She was at the door, but stopped and turned around ready to tell him she had no time for any more of his comments, but the moment she turned she felt his arm snake around her waist and his lips had descended upon hers again. Almost immediately she was lost in the passion of the kiss and released her broom letting it fall carelessly to the floor. She brought her hands around the back of his neck and pulled him closer to her at last getting the full effect of his mouth upon hers. She barely noticed as she fell back into the door with a thud. She was concentrating too hard on the rapture of kissing Draco Malfoy again.

It seemed that both an eternity and no time had passed when they finally pulled away from each other. She was severely light-headed and was hesitant to even speak. She had no idea what to say, but the word “Wow” managed to escape her lips at some point.

“I would have to agree with that statement,” he said. He appeared to be calmer than she felt at that moment. The adrenaline rush she had gotten from snogging him was still in full effect.

“I suppose I should let you go practice now,” he said a slight breathlessness now apparent in his words. He stepped back to allow her to move, but his usual gracefulness failed him. He somehow tripped over his own feet and landed on his rear. Ginny clasped her hand over her mouth to hide the laughter that was bubbling up at the back of her throat. He stood up regaining his composure, though Ginny could see a very light hint of pink coloring his cheeks.

She had finally gotten control of her giggling fit when she heard the unmistakable sound of her brother’s voice closing in on the other side of the door.

“…be right out! I’ll just grab our brooms…”

Her eyes widened in horror at the thought of being caught in the broom closet by her brother with Malfoy of all people.

“Shit!” she mouthed as she leaned against the door with all her might preventing him from opening the door.

“Hey!” said the muffled voice of Ron on the other side of the door when he made an attempt to open the door and failed. “It’s stuck. Oy! Harry, help me out here!”

“Shit!” she mouthed again. Malfoy seemed to be more amused about the situation than she was.

“What do you want me to do?” he whispered, holding back his laughter.

The gears quickly turned in her head. She calmed herself and fought back the panic that was rising.

“Here, help me with this,” she heard her brother say. “I think there’s something blocking the door. On three. One…Two…”

At three Ginny stepped away from the door allowing it to freely swing open as the two on the other side of the door tumbled in. Their mouths dropped open in shock at seeing her and Malfoy.

Her instincts took over. “Thank you, Ron, Harry,” she said nodding in their direction. “The door was stuck and I thought I’d have to be trapped in there all day with that git,” she said waving her hand slightly in Malfoy’s direction. She picked up her broom and walked out the door calmly without saying another word. As she walked out she ran her fingers through her hair trying to straighten out the mess that had been made of it during her snogging session.

“Weasley, Potter,” Malfoy acknowledged them calmly as he, too, left the scene carrying his own broom.
~*~*~
The Goddess Awakens by Yazethet
Chapter 21

The Goddess Awakens

~*~*~


Draco had listened to Potter and Weasley fire a thousand questions at Ginny while they were at the pitch after being caught in the broom closet. She was very good at making them believe that she had kept him in a full body bind the entire time they were ‘stuck’ in the closet together so he hadn’t laid a finger on her. When it came down to it, she was equally as deceptive as he could be.

Since the broom closet, Draco had been in an incredible mood. He ran across Crabbe and Goyle while they were in mid-snog in the halls and told them he wished them the best of luck together and pointed out a nearby classroom that was empty and suggested that they at least spare everyone else’s eyes by taking a their private moments behind closed doors. Normally he would have insulted them and made them feel guilty for making him sick as they really weren’t the most attractive couple.

He even passed some Hufflepuff first years that were mistakenly gathered at what was normally considered his spot on the lawns and simply told them to bugger off instead of casting bladder-filling jinxes on them and laughing at them when they wet themselves before they reached the lavatories.

In Arithmancy he told Granger that she was looking more like a foofy-headed zeebrit instead of a rumple-headed zeebrit that day. It was actually a compliment coming from him as, of the two creatures, the foofy-head was by far the more pleasant looking, though neither creature was actually very attractive. He suggested that might be the reason that Weasley had finally made his move. She only gaped at him and for once had nothing to say in return.

During detention he had been disappointed that he and Ginny were separated. He had been assigned the arduous task of gutting and sectioning tapeworms while she had the more desirable task of sorting newt tails by length. Snape had dismissed her first and Colin had come by and escorted her back to Gryffindor Tower so Draco didn’t have a chance to speak with her alone. Nevertheless, he had plans to get her alone so he could continue to charm her.

~*~*~


Milady,

Another gift awaits. Tonight, in the Tower at the stroke of Midnight, I shall expect your effervescent presence.

~Casanova


The corners of Ginny’s lips pulled up in amusement upon reading the signature of the note she had received by owl again at breakfast. She glanced up and saw Malfoy give her a quick wink before she turned away folding the note up.

“Casanova? So the mystery man has a name?”

Ginny felt her stomach sink slightly and didn’t say anything as Hermione placed her books down at the table.

“I’m sorry, Ginny,” she apologized. “I didn’t mean to read over your shoulder, but I was heading this way and just happened to glance down. It sounds terribly romantic,” she sighed dreamily. “A rendezvous at the Astronomy Tower…”

“Hermione, don’t say a word – ” she pleaded.

“Don’t worry, I won’t say anything to Ron. But I’m curious, who is Casanova?”

“I'm... not sure yet," she lied. "How’re things going between you and my dear, sweet, older brother?” Ever since receiving the gift from Ron, Hermione had been on cloud nine and was easily distracted with the subject of her new love.

“We’re going to Hogsmeade together,” she said excitedly, the issue of Casanova’s identity apparently forgotten. Ginny was relieved, though the thought of Hogsmeade was not one she was comfortable with at the moment. She was dreading the end of October.

“I’m glad Ron finally decided to pull his head out of his arse and do something about this ridiculous crush he’s had on you for ages.”

Hermione grinned. “I know he’s been a prat about it in the past, but patience does pay off. Honestly, some people really just need to accept their feelings and just go with them. There’s no use in wasting time in denial. I mean, look at Seamus and Parvati…”

Ginny was oddly bothered by her observation and became lost in her own thoughts as Hermione continued jabbering about how certain people really did belong together. She thought it strange that since Hermione had finally gotten her own love life straightened out, she felt it necessary that everyone should pair up. Hermione was typically the logical one, but apparently even she would get caught up in her own fantasies when it came to romance.

Ginny was determined not to let that happen with Draco. But after their kiss in the broom closet she was having a very difficult time imagining that she would ever grow bored when he could kiss her like that. She decided it was really just a matter of finally getting a full, uninterrupted proper kiss. That had to be the most reasonable explanation for why he made her feel weak in the knees.

During Advanced Potions, Snape had informed them there would be a change of plans and they would now be working in two groups of three instead of three groups of two due to an apparent difference in opinions of one set of lab partners. At first Ginny had been afraid that he was going to separate her and Draco, however it was Blaise and Ambrosia Amontu he had separated. She convinced herself the only reason she wanted to stay partnered with Draco was because they did actually work quite well together on potions assignments.

Blaise seem relieved to be partnered with them and had explained that he had specifically asked Snape to be separated from Ambrosia citing the lack of productivity as a reason.

“I’m sure that he wouldn’t have agreed, normally, but I think he found it convenient to add me to your group so you two wouldn’t have another chance to snog,” Blaise said laughing. Ginny was horrified that Blaise knew about what had happened, but as she was sure both Colin and Draco had told him about it she wasn’t all that shocked he knew.

She reddened slightly in awkwardness as they made their way to the region of the forest that Blaise had studied during the previous class. They gathered their potions ingredients and Ginny found herself torn between wishing she were alone with Draco and being grateful for not being alone with him.

But she would be alone with him at midnight. She assumed he meant the Tower of Travels as opposed to the Astronomy Tower would be their meeting place since the Astronomy Tower wasn’t nearly as private as the other Tower would be, though again, she was torn as to whether that was a good thing or not.

She reminded herself that she could handle Draco Malfoy no matter what he tried. But as she climbed the Tower steps for her meeting with ‘Casanova’ she felt a little more anxious than she should have. According to the portrait, she was heading into a scene right out of Venice, Italy.

~*~*~


“Alright, Casanova, where are you?” Ginny said as she walked through the door. Draco allowed her to take another couple of steps before he stepped quietly behind her and placed his hands on each side of her waist pulling her back into him.

He heard a sharp intake of breath as he began brushing his lips softly against the sensitive spot just below her earlobe and gradually making his way to her mouth. They kissed for a few moments before he backed away and took her hand.

“Your chariot awaits, milady,” he said suavely and tugged her in the direction of a gondola that floated near the dock only a few feet away.

“This really isn’t necessary,” she said, though he sensed that she was actually enjoying the setting.

“I just wanted to show you that whatever romanticized notions you have of me are right and you have no need of trying to think otherwise.”

He assisted her in boarding the long boat and took the pole in his hands and pushed off setting the gondola in motion.

“I didn’t know you could steer one of these things,” she said laughing softly as he maneuvered the boat with expertise.

“I’m sure there are quite few things you don’t know about me, but you’re being persistent about not wanting to find out.” He took his wand and waved it at the pole so it would continue its motion and direction without his assistance. He sat beside Ginny.

“Now, I believe I promised a gift,” he said smiling at her.

“Malfoy -,” she started.

“Draco -,” he corrected her again.

“Casanova,” she said teasingly and then her tone grew serious. “I didn’t come here for a gift. I wanted to tell you that this whole thing really is nonsense. I meant it when I said I want nothing more from you than an occasional snogging session. That’s it. You aren’t the type of guy to want anything more than that so I don’t see why you’re going to all this trouble.”

He smirked. “I am going to the trouble because I always get what I want.”

The look she was giving him was bordering on being a glare.

“I don’t know what you want exactly, but this romantic setup is not going to change my mind about you. Besides, if snogging isn’t enough for you, that’s too bad. I’m just not that type of girl.”

It shouldn’t have surprised him that she thought he was after sex. It wasn’t as if the thought had never occurred to him. But he really did like her. In fact, he was almost positive he was teetering on the edge and was very close to falling into a deeper feeling than just a simple liking for her.

“I never said you were,” he replied, though he gave her a nefarious grin that suggested he had the capabilities of changing the type of girl she thought she was. “Now, I believe I was in the process of presenting another gift to you. Though, I suppose this is technically something that I’ve already given to you.”

He gently took her arm and tugged her sleeve up to reveal the bracelet. “Oya, Eximo Anexito!” he spoke as he ran his finger down the dragon’s mane. Instantly the liondragon’s eyes popped open and it uncurled itself from her arm, stretched and yawned. It looked about for a moment and flicking its tongue, it took off. It circled around stretching its wings out and then promptly landed on Ginny’s shoulder.

“A simple release charm? That’s it?” she said in disbelief that the entire time it had been a matter remembering a general unlatching spell.

“Well, that and you had to know her name,” he said with a cunning grin.

“So why did you make me wait all week for that?” she asked as the dragon began nuzzling against her cheek. She pulled the dragon from its spot on her shoulder and held it in her hands, subconsciously stroking its soft mane.

“She needed a week to bond. She’ll follow you almost everywhere now.”

“So her name is Oya? To bond?” She spoke with interest. “And she’s not actually a piece of jewelry?”

“She’s a guardian spirit that possesses a piece of jewelry,” he explained. “But she is kind of like a pet. She’s supposed to do whatever you tell her, though I can’t be too sure how reliable she is. Every spirit is different, though it looks as if she likes you.”

He watched as she inspected the liondragon a little more closely. She continued to stroke its silky mane.

He smiled.

“She’ll do whatever I tell her?” she asked with a wicked twinkle in her eyes.

“She does have limitations, I’m sure.”

She began whispering something to the liondragon, a grin came to her lips. The little serpent then took off and flew straight at Draco. Then it stopped and hovered before him gazing at him as if it were pondering something. Then it did a loop and landed on his shoulder.

“I thought you said she’d do what I told her.” Ginny was slightly insulted that the dragon had not followed her orders.

“I guess she likes me, too,” he said. He had failed to mention that the spirit had already been bonded to him, as he had been the one to bestow a name upon her. Oya was a female warrior of Yoruba mythology. She was the goddess of fire, wind and thunder. When angered she would create hurricanes and tornadoes. He thought it very fitting that such a spirit attach itself to Ginny.

“Well, isn’t that just convenient,” she said sarcastically.

“Quite,” he agreed with pride. Then he asked with mild concern, “What did you tell her to do?”

She smiled mischievously. “I might have told her to bite your obnoxiously pointy nose."

"My nose is not pointy," he sniffed defensively.

"And don’t, for one moment, think that you’ve gotten away with that stunt with the Firelilies. I have the feeling that you have an ulterior motive for giving me Oya, though I haven’t figured out what it is yet. But when I do, Casanova, be warned. I told you I always get my revenge. So you better think about that before you send me any more gifts,” she said with sternness in her voice, but an obvious glimmer of humor in her eyes.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said laughing softly. It was no wonder that he was still pursuing her, despite her resistance. She was continuously making things interesting. “Until then, maybe I can make you forget that I’ve been up to anything sinister.”
He proceeded to distract her by taking her up on her offer of an ‘occasional’ snog, though he doubted that snogging would get her out of his system as she had suggested in the broom closet. It was of his opinion that she was a permanent fixture in his system now, and there was no getting over that.

~*~*~
To Hogsmeade by Yazethet
Chapter 22

To Hogsmeade

~*~*~


It had become a running joke between them that he sent her something that was designed to make her fall for him. She would always figure out what it was and come up with a way to get him back.

He sent her perfume that caused a temporary state of dreaminess over the last person who had kissed her. She read the ingredients on the label and figured it out before she had sprayed any onto herself. She then sent a thank you note back to him carefully dipped in the perfume so the moment he opened it he would be the one stuck in a state of dreaminess over her for four hours. He had replied that it didn’t work on him as he was already in such a state twenty-four hours a day.

Another day he sent her a music box. She had Colin open the lid at which point a cloud of pixie dust exploded directly into Colin’s face. She stood back laughing with her mouth covered so she wouldn’t breath any of the magical powder in. He appeared to go into a daze and then she proceeded to follow as he made his way to the Great Hall. She laughed when he found Draco in the Great Hall and started singing the quaint little song that had been in the music box in an amazingly beautiful, rich, tenor voice:

“Let me call you sweetheart,

I’m in love with you

Let me hear you whisper

That you love me too

Keep the love light glowing

In your eyes so blue

Let me call you sweetheart,

I’m in love with you!”

At the end of the song Colin shouted at the top of his lungs, “I love you Draco Malfoy!” with great gusto, to which Draco replied with an amused grin on his face. “Sorry, Creevey, you’re not my type.” The entire Great Hall burst into laughter.


Apparently the powder had been enchanted so whoever got a face full of the pixie dust would declare their undying love for the sender of the gift. She would have felt bad for Colin, except she felt he had a few things coming to him for being obnoxious to her in the past.

After his declaration of love Colin snapped out of the trance he had been in and turned red with embarrassment. Draco, however, managed to save him a little face by sneering and announcing loudly to everyone in the Great Hall, “It seems someone has played a rather dastardly practical joke on you, Creevey. I suggest you seek them out and get your revenge.” He placed a quick pointed glance in Ginny’s direction.

Colin swore never to open any of her packages again. He was upset at Blaise for finding the whole incident hilarious and furious with her for allowing it to happen.

After that he sent her a quill that would only write the words Draco + Ginny, or DSM + GMW or one form of his name plus hers with little drawings of cupids and hearts. She had accidentally used the quill in History of Magic while attempting to write notes on the Magic and Muggle Separation Act. During her next Advanced Potions class she switch the quill with one of Draco’s. He began writing with it just as Snape walked by to check on the progression of the test they were taking.

“If you please, Mr. Malfoy, this is a test and I’d rather you not scribble ridiculous sentiments all over it,” Snape sneered upon seeing the various heart doodles that had covered the paper. He made that test disappear and made a clean piece of parchment reappear. “Start again.”

She bit her lip to keep from laughing when Draco shot a look of mock anger in her direction.

All of the gifts had been delivered via her new pet Oya. The miniature liondragon followed her practically everywhere and would either sit perched on her shoulder or wrapped itself around her wrist when it was sleeping or bored. There were times when she would occasionally disappear for a period of time, but would always reappear just when Ginny was about to go to bed. The dragon would always take her spot on Ginny’s wrist.

Oya was also useful for delivering short messages for places they would meet, as they had quite a few snogging sessions. She would always leave these sessions feeling giddy and excited about the next time they would meet. They would barely speak a word to each other, opting to use their mouthes for a better purpose. She was surprised that he had yet to make any attempt at anything more than kissing. Often times, when he seemed to want to go any further, he would stop and indicate that it would probably be best that they meet again later.

It was for this reason that she really began to wonder about the arrangement they had. He was actually honoring her demand that nothing more than snogging was allowed. She was becoming even more deliriously infatuated with him, not less, with each passing day.

As the arrival of the first Hogsmeade visit approached she was starting to panic. It would have been one thing if she had to prance around Hogsmeade with Draco as the loser of some insidious bet. It would have been easy to spend the entire time casting hexes at him or trying to run into Ron and Harry so they would try to hex him. But it was quite another when she was finding it difficult to feel anything like animosity toward him.

She was in the library studying and finding it difficult to concentrate. After reading the same paragraph over four times and not absorbing a single word of it, she laid her head on the book and groaned softly in frustration.

“Problems?”

Ginny popped up to see Blaise sitting across from her. She sighed. “Just having trouble studying.”

He nodded in understanding. Ginny made another attempt at reading the paragraph, but had second thoughts and flipped her book shut. Oya, who had been sleeping soundly on the table, jumped at the sound.

“Blaise, tell him that I’m not going with him tomorrow.”

Blaise looked at her in confusion. “I don’t think he’ll agree with you, Gin.”

“I don’t care whether he does or not. I can’t go with him.”

“Why not?” he inquired.

“You wouldn’t understand. Just tell him, please?”

“I think I might understand better than you think,” he replied leaning back in his chair.

Ginny stared at him for a moment, contemplating whether or not she should discuss anything with Blaise. Beyond the point of frustration with herself she sighed and said, “What would everyone think? Do you have any idea what Ron and Harry would do to him? I can’t have them hexing him into a slug again. They’d get a whole group of people together and he’d be toast! They wouldn’t believe that I actually li-” she started and then bit back the word like, but it was too late.

“So you do like him,” Blaise said with a note of satisfaction in his voice.

She dropped her head on her book again and mumbled a quiet, yet strained, “Maybe.”

“You know,” he said mockingly, “the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.”

She sat up again. “But this is a huge problem! I can’t like him!”

“Then why, in Merlin’s name, have you been sneaking off everywhere snogging him for the past few weeks?”

“You wouldn’t understand,” she said again.

“Honestly, I can’t say that I blame you,” he said with a puckish smirk.

Ginny shook her head and laughed softly. “Really. You and Colin are both terrible.”

“You should go with him and damn everyone who doesn’t like it. He’s crazy about you. I’ve never seen him so insane over any girl, and that’s saying something because, as I’m sure you know, there’s been quite a few of them.”

“But, Blaise – “ she started, ready to make another argument as to why it wasn’t possible. She stopped in mid-sentence as an idea popped into her head. “You and Colin are going together, right?” she asked hopefully.

“Yes. Funny, but it was Draco who actually convinced me that I should go,” he said chortling. “Don’t tell Colin this, but I was honestly a bit concerned about going. I wasn’t ready to be seen with him, you know. And I’m honestly not sure that I’m ready for people to know about me.”

Ginny looked as if a light bulb had just popped up over her head. “Then this is perfect! You and Colin can go with me and Draco and no one will think that I’m with him or you’re with Colin.”

“Well, I suppose that would be an idea. Then it’d be like a double date.”

“And with you and Colin there, I wouldn’t be alone with him and no one would have to assume that you and Colin are together. As far as anyone is concerned we’re just hanging out, right?” It sounded good, but she wondered if that was true. She had no control over what people thought and Ron and Harry still might not like that Draco was in the same establishment as well as possibly at the same table as her, but at least Colin would be there to hopefully give them some piece of mind.

Oya, who had been listening intently to the conversation suddenly hopped up into the air and did a loop. Ginny just gave Oya a strange look.

“Then I guess we’re going to Hogsmeade together,” Blaise said after a moment of thought. He gave her a somewhat relieved smile.

“This’ll be great!” she said, feeling a little relieved as well. Oya flew up to her shoulder and nudged her head to the left just as she heard the distinct noise of her brother clearing his throat. Why did he always manage to sneak up on her like that? Apparently Oya was trying to tell her that he was approaching.

“Yes, Ron?” she said trying not to sound too exasperated. She hoped that he hadn’t heard too much of their conversation.

“I just wanted a word with Zabini, alone,” he said, his tone full of seriousness. Blaise shrugged his shoulders slightly as if it were no big deal to him. He got up and followed Ron to a spot out of Ginny’s earshot. She watched Ron calmly (or so he appeared) tell Blaise something. Blaise glanced her way and gave her a wink and a grin before turning to Ron. There was another brief exchange and Blaise returned to the table while Ron left the library, seemingly satisfied.

“What in Merlin’s name was that all about?” Ginny didn’t know whether she should be panicking or hunting Ron down to curse him for eavesdropping.

Blaise laughed. “Well, I think that the idea of us just hanging out is out of the question.”

“What did he say?” she asked, disappointment evident in her voice.

Blaise was still laughing. “He said that he respects your decision to date me, but he also mentioned something about breaking my….ahem…wand if I break your…uh… heart.”

“He thinks that….that…you…and me…?” she started laughing with Blaise at the ludicrousness of the thought. “So I guess it’s a date then.”

~*~*~

The next morning, Draco met Ginny at the front doors and was only mildly surprised to see Blaise was standing next to her. He assumed Blaise was waiting on Colin before deciding to head to Hogsmeade.

He gave Ginny a smile. “I see that I don’t have to use an Imperius on you,” he teased.

“If you even think about casting a spell on Ginny you’ll be a slug again in no time, Malfoy.”

He turned to see Harry glaring at him. He cocked his head and gave Harry a lopsided grin as Harry continued his threat. “Of course, as you know, Ginny is also capable of a few nasty hexes, so watch it, Ferret.”

“I was only kidding, Potter. Don’t get your bloomers in a bunch. Besides, she’s going willingly with - ”

“- with Blaise,” Ginny interrupted quickly, though she showed no sign of panic. “Don’t worry, Malfoy. Blaise convinced me to go with him to Hogsmeade without your assistance.”

“So am I to go alone?” he said, sarcasm tinged his tone. He saw that she was still obviously trying to hide the fact that she liked him and he was incredibly entertained by her acting abilities.

“I’ll go with you! All you had to do was ask, Draco, darling.” Draco’s head dropped as he heard Pansy chime in.

“I thought you were going with Malfoy because you lost the bet?” Hermione Granger had apparently arrived in time to hear that Ginny was going with Blaise.

“Bet? What bloody bet!” Ron was close behind. Hermione had clapped her hand over her mouth after realizing that she had said something that she ought not have.

“The bet she lost playing Quidditch against Draco,” Colin said with an amused smirk as he also arrived.

“Why the bloody hell would you want Ginny to go to Hogsmeade with you!” Ron was beginning to turn an uncomely shade of purple.

“Because I – ,” Draco began calmly, but was

“He wanted to parade me around like some type of trophy. He was only going to do it to provoke you guys,” Ginny covered with a very convincing note of bitterness. “But Blaise said he’d come with me so that’s not going to happen.”

“So you’re going with Malfoy and Zabini? Ginny, you do realize they’re both in Slytherin! They’ve probably got some type of scheme -,” Ron was almost on the verge of screaming. Draco was beginning to find the whole situation extremely amusing.

“And that’s why I’m going with Ginny,” Colin said before Ron could go into his conspiracy theory.

Ron was giving everyone around him death glares. “Ginny, you don’t have to do this.”

“Ron, I lost the bet, fair and square, and I’m fulfilling my end,” Ginny said firmly.

“I’d hardly believe anything Ferret does is fair,” Harry muttered.

“Don’t worry, Harry, I made sure he got a bludger to the stomach for winning. Something I’m sure I can repeat in the first match against Slytherin next week,” she said giving both Draco and Harry a devious smile. “Now, if you don’t mind I have a date.”

“Ginny -,” Ron began with an almost pleading voice.

“Ron,” she returned with warning. “Remember our conversation? I’m sure Hermione would just love to hear about – ”

“ – OKAY! I got it, Gin,” Ron interrupted before she could reveal any more. He was turning from the puce color to a shade closer to the color of his hair. Then he turned to Blaise and said,

“Remember what I told you. I meant it.” He just shot Draco a glare before Hermione decided it would be best to sign out with Filch quickly and drag him out the door before they all got detention for an all-out jinxing war.

“Dracooo, why don’t you just forget about making her go through with the bet and just come to Hogsmeade with me,” Pansy said as Hermione and Ron left.

“I have a debt to collect, Pansy. I’m sure Max would be happy to escort you to Hogsmeade,” he said politely. Max Fletcher had just gotten in line for the Hogsmeade visit and looked positively pleased at the thought of getting back together with Pansy. If looks could kill, Pansy would have been an assassin, and both Draco and Ginny would have been dead.

“Fine,” she said huffily. “Come on, Maxi,” she cooed taking him by the arm. “Let’s leave these ingrates. At least you appreciate me. I should have never left you.” Draco was monumentally relieved that they had exited.

“Malfoy, I’m warning you. If you try anything in Hogsmeade, and I mean anything, you will regret it,” Harry threatened again.

“Potter, you don’t scare me. Save it for the Quidditch match. You’ll need it. I’ve got a Pegasus Vortex, this year,” he said arrogantly.

“Whatever, Malfoy. My team is going beat your team to a bloody pulp. If Gin sent a Bludger to your stomach then you’ve only got a taste of what she can do. I’d watch it if I were you,” Harry responded with his eyes narrowed.

“Harry, I’ll be fine,” Ginny said in a comforting tone. Draco again felt a slight stab of jealousy whenever she spoke to him. She always seemed to treat him like he was a fragile piece glass that was about to break. She always seemed overly concerned with his feelings. For a moment Draco wondered if she gave a damn about his feelings, but quickly removed the thought from his head.

He knew that she didn’t want to admit that she liked him, even to herself. He could hardly blame her for not wanting anyone else to know either. She was so deliciously deceptive that he couldn’t help but admire her even more, if it was possible.

He found it marvelous how she had handled the entire confrontation. Her brain worked quickly and was able to control the whole situation without anyone actually throwing a hex. He wasn’t sure how Blaise ended up being her date to Hogsmead, and what Ron meant about his remark about ‘remembering what he had said’ to Blaise so he was obviously going to require an explanation from either Ginny or Blaise as to how they had ended up on this bizarre double date. Nonetheless, he was wholly amused.

He would have been happy to spend time alone with her, but having Blaise and Colin tag along did have its advantages. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy their snogging sessions, but he wanted her to know that it wasn’t all that he was after. Another session with his Headhealer revealed that most girls he ‘dated’ apparently rarely stimulated him intellectually and therefore was one of the reasons he never stayed with a girl too long. The other reason was that his father set a poor example of how to treat women. Until now, he considered anyone of the opposite sex below him. Ginny, he considered his equal. She wasn’t easily manipulated.

Ginny, Colin, Draco and Blaise finally signed out and entered a carriage together. Ginny and Blaise made their explanations about the double date scenario they had created to avoid any further problems in Hogsmeade.

It had never actually concerned him to be seen with Ginny, but he was aware of her need to keep their relationship secret (especially since it only seemed to consist of snogging session). She had actually been right, to some extent, when she made mention of the fact that he wanted to go to Hogsmeade with her to provoke Harry and Ron. He was still amused by their reaction to finding out she was going to Hogsmeade with not one, but two Slytherin boys. But most of all he just wanted to spend time with her.

~*~*~
End Notes:
*The song 'Let Me Call You Sweetheart' was written by Beth Slater Whitson, not me, in case it wasn't obvious. I just borrowed it for this particular scene for amusement purposes. :)

Thanks for reading!
The Shrieking Shack by Yazethet

Chapter 23

The Shrieking Shack

*~*~*

"So. Let me get this straight. You're on a date with Blaise."

Ginny concurred.

"And you're on a date with me?" Draco gave her a bemused grin as he sat back in the carriage seat. "Aren't you the little vixen."

"Then who am I on a date with?" Colin remarked, chortling softly.

"No one. You're here to protect Ginny from me and Blaise," Draco responded, still smiling. Then he asked with amusement, "Why are you on a date with Blaise?"

"Because Weasley thinks that Ginny and I are dating," Blaise answered, trying to control his own laughter.

"And what would make him think that?" Draco asked, the look of amusement still plastered to his face.

"It's a long story," Ginny sighed. "But I think that he overheard Blaise and I talking about Hogsmeade yesterday, and I guess he just simply assumed..." she trailed off as the three boys continued with their laughter. She was less than amused by the situation she had put herself into.

"You know, things would be much simpler if you just told everyone that you're with me," Draco said, still laughing, but his voice carried a hint of seriousness.

Ginny simply stared at him. He had no clue what he was doing to her. She was trying so hard to keep her balance and not fall for him, but there'd be strange little moments when she'd see a flicker of something mysterious in his eyes that would almost send her flying over the line that she had drawn. It was completely irrational. She wondered how she made it to this point after having spent years detesting him. How had he done it?

Too much snogging, she thought. But somewhere in the back of her brain a little voice told her that wasn't quite the truth. It was the fact that she was getting to know the real Draco Malfoy. Or she thought it was the real Draco Malfoy. It was still a bit discerning that this was the same person who’d made her life miserable. And it was possible that he could still make her life even more miserable.

She cursed herself over and over again for allowing herself to actually have feelings for him. She had been stupid to believe that she could merely enjoy snogging him and let it go no further. It had already gone far enough the moment she felt jealous of any other girls from his past.

This twisted relationship they had was bound to end badly. He was well known for his short attention span with any one girl. It was a near safe assumption that he would grow bored with her after a few of their snogging sessions, especially when she would refuse if he attempted to take things any further physically. She actually hadn’t expected him to behave himself. And what was worse was the fact that a part of her was slightly disappointed that he hadn’t made an attempt at anything more.

When they arrived at Hogsmeade, the boys had decided that they wanted to stop at Honeydukes to stock up on sweets. Draco bought her a box of imported chocolates just so he could say he purchased something for her with complete innocent intentions, though he grinned wickedly when saying so.

They went to a small costume shop and began browsing through the various masks and outfits that they had available. There was no reason for them to actually be shopping for costumes, but Ginny found it most entertaining. She came across a sword that came with a samurai’s costume and angled it at Draco.

“Surrender, or die!” she said with an evil gleam in her eye. Draco gave her a grin and with unsurprising grace reached behind him where he had been looking at a knight’s outfit and slid the blade from its holder and aimed it in return at her.

“My lady, I am a Malfoy. I will never surrender,” he said proudly. “Yield thy weapon and I shall go easy on you.”

“Surrender yours and perhaps your punishment will not be so severe.” As she spoke she twirled the sword in her hand and repositioned it. She had intended to lay the cool blade against his neck, however he quickly repositioned his own sword to block the movement. She cocked her head giving him another smirk and tried striking again, this time with just a little more force. He blocked it just as easily as she thought he would. She swung a third time aiming lower and he defensively blocked again with predictable gracefulness.

“Fencing lessons?” she commented.

“Of course,” he replied.

“That shouldn’t surprise me. What other lessons does the spoiled, rich heir to the Malfoy fortune take?” she asked good-naturedly. “Surely fencing and bal-”

“-quite a few others. I like to keep my summers busy,” he interrupted quickly, obviously not wanting anyone in the shop to overhear that he had taken ballet lessons as a youngster. Ginny giggled.

He moved his sword to strike playfully at her and she quickly blocked.

“Not bad,” he smiled.

“Yes, well, a Gryffindor girl needs to know how to protect herself against cunningly charming Slytherin.” She took another swipe at Draco, which he blocked easily.

“I see. Perhaps I should give you a few fencing lessons to help you attain your goal. You seem to be susceptible to the Slytherin charms seeing as how you’ve managed to be on a date with two of us at the moment,” he teased. He took another quick shot. She responded just as quickly and their swords clanged together again.

“I may take you up on your offer for lessons,” she quipped playfully and then took another strike, which was again blocked. “But as far as being on a date with two Slytherins, I believe that means I’m still the one who has control of the situation.” Each time she moved the sword, Draco matched her movement.

“A control freak, are you?” he said as she took another swing. “Are you sure you’re the one in control here?” She had raised her arm to take another attempt at swinging the sword, but he stepped forward closing the gap between them and his sword clashed with hers once more. Ginny was suddenly aware of the power he had over her. She gazed into his eyes and faltered slightly, again seeing that flicker in his eyes. She withdrew the sword and took a step back to allow herself some breathing room.

She was on the verge of replying when Colin came bounding in from the back room. “Gin! You have to come see what Blaise and I found. It’s absolutely brilliant!”

Draco elevated his eyebrows a little giving her a look that told her that he was perfectly aware of his effect on her. She felt her resolve weakening.

Fortunately, Colin pulled her away to see the Morphing Masks that he and Blaise had discovered. The masks had been enchanted to adhere to the wearer’s face and change it into one of an endless number of other facial appearances by a simple wave of the wand and short magical phrase followed by the name of the person or thing the wearer wanted to change into.

They had a good laugh as they each put one on. Draco had followed along and joined in the hilarity. They started by changing themselves into various famous witches and wizards then it became all out war when they started giving each other animal faces.

Ginny had granted Draco a bunny face and practically rolled on the floor the moment his nose started twitching. One of the ears that had sprouted from the top of his head flopped over as his black beady eyes narrowed in a look of revenge. He attempted to turn her into a weasel, but she dodged and tapped Colin instead. The transformation didn’t quite hit Colin’s mask correctly, he ended up with a face that was half weasel, half Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic. Colin in turn switched Draco from a blond haired bunny to a blond baboon.

Blaise, feeling the need to get in on the action, at least supported his friend and affably turned Colin’s face into that of a Scottish terrier.

“Are you insinuating I’m a dog?” Colin said with good humor and then gave Blaise the head of a fox.

Blaise looked into the nearby mirror admiring his foxy face and gave a wily smirk. “I think I’ll take that as a compliment!”

Draco, no longer able to take Blaise’s narcissism quickly gave him the head of a goat. “Hey!” he exclaimed as two short bumps formed at his forehead.

Draco laughed, still with a baboon head, “I don't believe this shop carries hay, but if you're that hungry I'm sure we can find you something to chew on. Perhaps the grass hula skirt over there?”

Mutato Voltus Harry Potter!” Blaise chanted waving his wand at Draco’s head.

Draco looked into the mirror and saw Harry Potter with blond hair looking back. “I don’t see much of a difference, you know.” He waved his wand and tapped his own mask, “Mutato Voltus baboon!” He carefully examined himself holding his baboon chin in his hand as if deep in thought. “No, I think the baboon is actually slightly better looking.”

Ginny laughed in spite of herself. It was something so typically Malfoy to do.

“What are you laughing at?” Draco said noting her unchanged appearance. He flicked his wand in her direction and this time successfully turned her into a weasel. She returned the favor and changed the baboon to a ferret. This time Colin and Blaise were laughing and pointing at them. Draco and Ginny exchanged a look and then Ginny took on Colin and Draco took on Blaise.

Mutato Voltus platypus!” they both said almost simultaneously.

The fair-haired platypus and the black-haired platypus gave them what appeared to be confounded looks as Ginny and Draco exchanged their own bewildered glances. They had not intended on the synchronized transformation of their two best friends into platypi. The weasel and the ferret began laughing at their two duck-billed companions and failed to notice as they took a moment to plot their own revenge.

Mutato Voltus Ginny Weasley!”

Mutato Voltus Draco Malfoy!”

Through her tears of mirth, Ginny glanced over at Draco and saw her own freckled face and brown eyes laughing back at her. It only made her laugh harder. She knew she’d never look good as a blonde.

“I never thought I’d ever see Draco with knockers and red hair!” Blaise said doubling over, his hands wrapped around his midsection, barely containing his merriment.

“What the bloody hell is going on here?”

Ginny looked up to see Harry staring at the four of them with utter, horrified shock on his face.

“Well, well, the baboon has graced us with his presence!” Draco said and the four of them went into another round of hysterics.

“I’m sorry, Harry,” Ginny said, finally pulling the mask off. Her face was flushed red from laughing so much. She was still chortling slightly. “We were just having a good laugh.”

“At your expense,” Draco added, pulling his own mask off. He was still laughing, but Ginny noted a decidedly acidic quality was contained in the laughter. She glared at Draco in warning.

Harry was apparently perplexed at the sight of his fellow Gryffindors and a couple of Slytherin laughing at what appeared to be an inside joke. Ginny was sure that it was even more perplexing to see Draco Malfoy included.

“What are you doing here?” Ginny asked, hoping to distract him. To say he looked a bit irate with Draco was an understatement.

“I was checking on you. Mo said she saw you coming in here and I was just making sure that you were okay,” he said, controlling his obvious distaste for her company.

“I’m fine, Harry. I’ve got Colin with me. Really, you don’t have to do this even if my prat of a brother insists on it. Tell Ron I can handle myself,” she said calmly.

“You hear that? She’s just fine, Potty. Now run along,” Draco interjected with mounting hostility in his voice. Ginny glared at him again. Harry gave him a look of suspicion.

“Go on, Harry, you can go back to enjoying your time with…” then Ginny remembered that Ron and Hermione had a date and it probably didn’t include Harry. She distinctly remembered Hermione dragging Ron with her and Harry had been left behind. She felt suddenly guilty. “You didn’t come alone, did you?”

Harry blushed slightly. “No. I asked Luna to come with me.”

Ginny smiled. “Then you’d better go back on your date.”

“It’s not a date,” Harry informed her quickly, though his blush deepened slightly. “We’re just here as friends, you know.”

“Then you shouldn’t keep your friend waiting. Really, Harry. Don’t worry about me. Don’t make me use my hexing talents against you,” she said giving him another warm smile. He nodded, glared one last time at Draco and then left.

“Bloody Potter. Why don’t you just tell him to mind his own damned business,” Draco said the moment the door to the shop closed behind Harry.

Only a half hour before she was on the verge of telling him that she thought she might actually like him and now he was acting like the pain in the arse that she knew him to be.

“Harry is just concerned,” she explained, the warmth she had shown with Harry was gone.

“He needn’t worry his mangy little head about anything,” Draco replied, his tone decreasing in temperature by the moment.

Sensing the enmity coming from him, Ginny decided that it would be best to continue their conversation elsewhere. She quickly thanked the jovial shopkeeper who had rather enjoyed their mini-war and dragged Draco out the door leaving Blaise and Colin in the shop, not knowing whether to follow or not.

“Aren’t you afraid you’ll be seen with me?” Draco said bitterly the moment they stepped on to the road. Ginny looked around and decided the only direction to go was the Shrieking Shack. She didn’t reply. Instead she grabbed him by the ear and dragged him all the way down the deserted road ignoring the whiney ‘ouch!’ he continuously repeated until she released his ear once inside the allegedly haunted house.

“That was bloody painful!” he said rubbing his tender ear.

“I’ll show you bloody painful!” she retorted, her complete irritation with him now fully apparent. “What is your problem?”

Seeing that he was about to be on the receiving end of another Weasley tantrum Draco revved his own temper into high gear. “Why do you have to treat Potter that way?” he growled, knowing full well that he was entering dangerous territory unleashing his temper on her.

"What way?" she snapped, impatiently. Draco crossed his arms angrily and looked away from her.

“Harry is my friend,” she said as calmly as she could muster at the moment.

“And what the hell am I! Dragon feces!” he exploded.

“You might as well be!” she said, regretting it the instant it had left her mouth, but that didn’t stop her from being brassed off.

“That’s right. I forgot. I’m just someone you want to snog occasionally. Apparently, you feel Potter is the only one worth having any feelings about, since you seem to treat him like he actually matters.” Draco had finally had enough of the disparity in the way Harry was handled and the way he was handled. It was stupid. He believed that she was only in denial about liking him, but maybe he was wrong. Maybe she was telling the truth. Maybe all she wanted was a temporary person to snog until she could get Harry Potter’s attention. Maybe all the dreams were based on her lust and nothing more, though something niggling in his mind told him it couldn’t possibly be true. There was something between them, he was just losing it at the moment over his jealousy of Harry-Bloody-Potter.

“Harry does matter, but that doesn’t mean I have any feelings besides friendship for him,” she said her voice full of venom, but she was attempting to keep herself from completely losing her temper. He was being an ass, but she couldn’t help feeling a bit flattered by his jealousy, though she would never tell him that.

“Then why the hell do you treat him like he’s going to fall apart at any moment! You act as though telling him you’re with me will send him into a damned coma or something!” he yelled.

“Not everything is about you, you prat! There are things you don’t know about Harry,” she said, again trying not to loose all her irritation on him. She knew about the prophecy and Harry’s predicament (she wasn’t told by Harry, but was accidentally eavesdropping at the wrong place at the wrong time over the summer) and was trying everything she could to keep Harry from having to deal with any more stress than he already had. “Besides, who said I was with you anyway. I told you from the beginning that I wanted nothing more than a few snogging sessions to get you out of my system. You act as though I’ve agreed to be your girlfriend.”

He gritted his teeth. He was not prone deal with this overwhelming sense of jealousy. Any other girl he would never have allowed himself to bother with any type of argument on the matter. Not that he’d ever had to argue about whether or not a girl was actually his girlfriend. Normally he would just walk away and not give it another thought. But he couldn’t do that with Ginny. The way he felt about her, he knew he’d spend a good amount of time pining ridiculously over her and that was also not something he was willing to do.

“I think we’ve had more than our share of snogging sessions,” he said with a sudden mix trepidation and ire.

“Your point?” she said impatiently. This was probably the moment she had expected from the beginning. He was now bored and ready to move on. She knew it and had prepared herself for it, but never realized that she’d feel so dreadful about it. She refused to cry at her own foolishness. It was better it ended now if he couldn’t handle one stupid argument. If he was going to be a jealous git then she was better off never having told him that she liked him.

“My point is this,” he said grabbing her. His mouth crashed down on hers and they were lost in the furiousness of their passion for a few moments. She felt her knees weaken and when he pulled away from her with a little roughness she steadied herself against the wall of the shack. “Now tell me how the hell you are going to get me out of your system when I know that every time I kiss you, you have to hold on to something to keep from falling over.”

He leaned heavily against the wall, slightly breathless.

“I do no-” she said in a meek attempt at lying.

“Don’t deny it,” he said, his voice now calmer. The moment his lips were on hers he felt the connection again and all thoughts of Harry dissipated. “I know I’m a good kisser, but this is pure insanity. You can’t tell me that you don’t feel something.”

She wanted to laugh at his arrogance, but was still recovering from the unexpected kiss. She only managed a small smile. “Alright, I admit, I’ve never kissed anyone who could literally make me go weak in the knees.”

“Dammit, Gin. Why are you so stubborn?” he said flatly.

“It’s a Weasley trait,” she replied. “You don’t need to be jealous of Harry.”

“I know. It’s just that he’s such a git.”

“He’s my friend, and that’s not going to change,” she informed him with all seriousness.

“I can accept that, but I wish you’d just admit that you like me. At least then I’d know where I stand instead of second guessing myself.” He finally cracked. She had actually driven him over the edge and he had lost his calm, cool, and collected exterior. He was used to being in control, but she had finally forced him to be truthful about his insecurity. It was very unMalfoyish, and he swore he’d never allow it to happen again, outside of his Headhealer sessions.

Ginny started laughing. The idea that Draco Malfoy was insecure was beyond hilarious. “You’re kidding, right?”

He shot her a humorless look that immediately made Ginny stop laughing. “You want the truth?”

He stared intently at her, “Yes.”

“I’m probably going to want to Obliviate you after this, but fine. I do like you. There. I said it. Feel better, now that I’ve alleviated your fears of not being liked by the girl you’re currently snogging?” She couldn’t help a small snicker after saying so. The thought of Draco needing assurance was comical.

A sly smile slowly spread across his face, “Yes.”

“Good. It’s too bad I haven’t properly learned memory charms otherwise I would use one on you and make this whole situation disappear.”

“I told you, didn’t I?” he said, returning to his usual Malfoy superiority.

“Told me what?” she asked, confused.

“I told you that I’d make you admit you liked me,” he answered, his smirk becoming wider at taking the opportunity to put himself back into control. "And I decided it was time for you to do so."

Ginny’s jaw dropped. “You evil prat!”

“But you still like me,” he said deviously.

“I take it ba-,” she started, but before she could complete her sentence his mouth was on hers again and it was nearly the equivalent of performing an Obliviate charm on her. Whatever thoughts she had about taking back the fact that she really did like him had disappeared into oblivion.

She was relishing the sweet taste of his mouth (they had sampled a few delectable treats in Honeydukes and Ginny swore she was going to figure out what combination of treats he had eaten and make him go back to purchase more) when the door to the Shrieking Shack burst open and sunlight flooded the room.

“Malfoy?”

~*~*~

Rings and Things by Yazethet

Chapter 24

Rings and Things

*~*~*

Ginny took two steps away from Draco, as if distancing herself from him would make up for being caught in his arms. She blinked and only saw the outline of a figure against the sunlight, but she could tell who the voice belonged to.

“Uh…Seamus? What are you doing here?” she asked stupidly.

“Seamus? Who’s in there?” Ginny saw Parvati right behind him and as Seamus started closing the door behind them blocking the sunlight once again; she could see Parvati’s look of disbelief.

“Ginny?” Parvati questioned as if she had to confirm that she was really seeing her there beside Draco.

She should have known better than to drag Draco to the Shrieking Shack. During her third year a few students had discovered that the boards across the door had loosened. Apparently the magic that had sustained the complete sealing of the house for years was wearing, and no one had bothered to rework a sealing charm. Ever since the door had been opened, it had been a popular dare among students to go into the shack, especially those who wanted to give their boyfriend or girlfriend a thrill. They would attempt to drag their significant other into the shack for a snogging session (or more) just to say they had done so. Very few actually had gone so far as to do it, but every year there was a new rumor circulating as to who had gotten into the Shrieking Shack. In fact, as of late it had been dubbed the Shagging Shack due to an incident over the summer that a seventh year Gryffindor had been involved in. There was no actual proof that anything happened, but several had joked that they would be next to go to the Shagging Shack.

Leave it to a Gryffindor to start a rumor about shagging in the Shrieking Shack.

Ginny’s intention had been to give Draco a piece of her mind, nothing more. But Seamus and Parvati had caught her mid-snog with Draco Malfoy. How was she going to handle this? Seamus was her brother’s roommate! And Parvati was her brother’s girlfriend’s roommate! She wanted to floor to open up and swallow her.

Draco, as usual, seemed to be thoroughly amused at getting caught. She swore that it was his goal to drive her insane. It was Draco who decided to break the somewhat uncomfortable silence.

“The shack is currently in use, though I’m sure you can reserve it for next Hogsmeade visit, Finnigan. I think we might be here all day,” he said with a surreptitious smirk. Ginny smacked his shoulder, hard.


Draco turned to Ginny and said with a deadpan expression,“Ouch.”

Parvati was known for being friends with the biggest gossip at Hogwarts, Lavendar Brown, and Ginny was not sure how it was possible to keep her from saying anything. She mentally noted that she should learn memory charms as soon as possible and master them. She had never realized how useful they could be until she got involved with Draco Malfoy.

Draco looked at Ginny and smirked again despite the fact that she had probably just bruised his arm. She was obviously in a state about getting caught. He still found it rather entertaining, but he decided to do something that would give her temporary piece of mind.

“Finnigan, say nothing about what you saw here, or you and your girlfriend will be sorry,” he said in a semi-serious tone.

“You don’t scare me, Malfoy,” he returned, though he didn’t sound that sure of himself.

“Finnigan, don’t force me to say anything that you’ll regret,” Draco returned calmly (though still amused) as he cocked his head meaningfully at Seamus. Ginny wondered what that was all about, but noted that Seamus’s eyes practically turned into saucers as apparently he got the Slytherin’s meaning.

“Right. Parvati,” he said turning to his girlfriend, “We never saw anything. Let’s go.” He turned to leave.

“Wait a second,” Parvati said. “What was that all about? You’re not going let him bully you, are you?”

“Patil, I suggest you run along with your boyfriend. But if you prefer to stay, I’m sure we would have some rather interesting facts to discuss,” Draco said pointedly to her.

Ginny watched as Parvati took her turn at widening her eyes in horror. “Let’s go, Seamus,” she said hurriedly shoving Seamus out the door. Ginny heard Seamus exclaim, “What the bloody hell was that all about?” as they exited.

“Now that we’ve go that taken care of,” Draco said moving to put his arms around her again. She stepped out of his reach.

“What was that all about?” she inquired, giving him a look that clearly said 'I can’t believe you just did that but thank Merlin you did!'

“All I can say is it’s highly useful to know things about people, and make sure they know what you know about them,” he said with a cockiness in his voice that made Ginny snicker.

“You are unbelievable!”

“I get that a lot,” he agreed maintaining the conceited tone. “Though most girls say it with a little more breathlessness than you did. Perhaps we can work on that?” Ginny never knew exactly when it happened, but his haughty ways were beginning grow on her.

“Why did I ever admit to liking you?” she said with exasperation, though humor was entwined in her words.

“Why do you find the idea of being seen with me so horrendous?” he asked, his tone a little more serious, though he was still smiling at her.

“Are you joking? Why on earth would I want to be seen with you? You’re hideous! Haven’t you looked in the mirror lately? No. I don’t think I want to be known as the girl who dated Quasimodo. What would people think?” She spoke with light sarcasm.

“And here I thought you weren’t shallow,” he returned mockingly.

“I would have thought you would want to keep everyone in the dark. Honestly, I thought you’d be ashamed of dating a Weasley. What would your friends think?”

“My friends know better than to question my judgment,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Fine, what would the whole school think? You wouldn’t want to send everyone into shock.”

“Actually, that would be quite a sight, sending the whole school into shock,” he chuckled. “I think what you mean to ask is what would your friends think.”

“I can already tell you that they would come after you with their wands blazing. You aren’t exactly their favorite person. Of course, Colin is fine with it, but Harry, Ron, and Hermione would think you’ve got me under an Imperius or something. I think it’d be much easier just to keep our little thing a secret.”

“So you still think this is just a thing?”

“I don’t know what else to classify it as,” she said truthfully. It was degrading, but she had simply thought of herself as Draco’s flavor of the month. She had fought against any thoughts she had of their fling becoming anything more serious. She was convinced he wasn’t capable of anything more. She thought it would be easier just to accept the truth. The only problem was she was continuously falling harder for the git. He was making it so difficult for her not to fall for him.

“Would it help for me to classify it for you?” he said moving to her and placing a gentle kiss on her lips. She felt on the verge of melting. The all too familiar flip-flop of her stomach returned and her pulse raced. She thought that she was addicted to the adrenaline rush that being around him caused.

“I don’t think…” she began, but he interrupted her with another gentle brush of his lips against hers.

“I am going to classify you as my girlfriend and this so-called fling I will classify as an exclusive relationship because I don’t plan on snogging any other girls while I’m with you.” He pulled the emerald ring he always wore off his right index finger.

“Draco…I…” she started, not quite knowing what to say.


He smirked at her use of his name. For weeks she had called him Casanova, and though he liked the nickname, he wondered when she would come around to calling him by his given name. Using it in his presence was just like admitting she liked him, something she had been reluctant to do for some time. It was the same reason he always called her Gin. He’d spent years spitting her last name out like it was dirt in his mouth; therefore it was a necessity to call her by her first. In his eyes, she was the furthest thing from dirt.

She had made him do something that, up until this point, he never thought he’d do. He gave her his ring. It was his own possession and he wanted her to have it. It meant more than ridiculously expensive gifts. The ring was something he cared about. His grandmother had passed it on to him his first year at Hogwarts and he’d worn it every day since. It bore the Malfoy insignia within the square cut emerald stone that was encased in the silver band.

“….I…” Ginny said again as he conjured a simple silver chain and looped it through the ring. She was torn. She wanted to tell him she couldn’t possibly be his girlfriend. She was barely coming to grips with the fact that she had actually said she liked him. He was asking her to be with him. Well, perhaps not asking exactly. He simply stated it. That alone should have sent her into a fit. She was the one who would make the decision whose girlfriend she would be. He was practically claiming her as a possession. But something kept her from arguing. Part of her wanted to see what it would be like to be Draco Malfoy’s girlfriend.

“I can’t,” she said finally. He placed the chain around her neck anyway.

“You can. I’ve already said so,” he declared as if it was just a simple matter of him stating it and therefore making it true.

“I didn’t agree,” she said lacking confidence in her own words.

“You never would,” he pointed out. “Honestly, for a Gryff you’re being a bit of a coward, don’t you think?”

Not even her brothers had ever been stupid enough to refer to her as a coward. She had been lost in the moment but the remark had brought her back to reality. “I am not a coward,” she snapped.

“Then why are you acting like one?” he asked smoothly. “What are you afraid of?”

She glared at him.

“I fear nothing,” she answered determinedly.

“Prove it,” he challenged with a wry grin.

She knew he was baiting her. Fine, she thought. If he breaks my heart, I’ll break more than his wand.

“Alright, I’ll let you be my boyfriend, but we’re still not telling anyone,” she chided.

His grin broadened. “For now. And I can kick Potter’s arse if he even thinks about laying a finger on you.”

“Harry’s with Luna! And I told you, there’s no reason for you to be jealous of him,” she argued.

“Nevertheless, it’s at least an honorable reason for me to bloody him up.”

She shook her head at his attempt at a chivalrous notion. Yet, again, she was flattered by the thought. “You have some serious issues, you know that?”

“I discuss them with my Headhealer on a bi-monthly basis,” he quipped playfully. “Now, since we are officially a couple I suggest we start off with a proper first kiss.”

Ginny smiled, “I believe I can agree to that.”

She leaned in for her kiss and just before their lips touched the door to the shack opened again.

“Bloody hell!” they exclaimed in unison. The looked to the door and saw Blaise and Colin standing there.

“Oh! So this is where you two scurried off to,” Blaise said half-embarrassed half-amused.

“Interrupting anything?” Colin raised his eyebrows mischievously.

“Yes, now go away,” Draco said with obvious frustration. “The shack is booked for the day.”

“Actually, you two can have it for now,” Ginny offered with a gracious smile. Draco looked at her as if she had gone crazy.

“What are we going to do?” he whined slightly. Ginny laughed.

“We’re going back to Honeydukes,” she replied. “What was it you were trying when we were there earlier?” She had a sudden craving for sweets again, and she wanted to stock up.

She fully intended on getting her official first kiss as Draco’s girlfriend, but she wasn’t going to chance another interruption. There was a better time and place for it. She drug Draco out door of the shack and down the road to Honeydukes.


She was careful to watch for other students and when she saw some other sixth years she knew she distanced herself from Draco. She hoped it appeared they just happened to be going in the same direction. He’d flash her a beguiling smirk each time it happened.

The entered Honeydukes for the second time that day and she picked out the caramel candies that Draco had sampled earlier along with a couple of other interesting flavors and one type of candy called Peppermint Poppers. As they chose more sweets Ginny failed to notice Ron and Hermione entering the shop. She was giggling at some crack Draco had made about suggesting some of the candies to Colin and Blaise when she turned and saw Ron glaring at Draco. Her laughter instantly subsided.

“Ron!” she gasped. She sincerely hoped he hadn’t heard any of their conversation. She really needed to remember to be more careful.

“Weasley,” Draco greeted him with a smirk.

“We were just…uh…” Ginny felt the need to explain.

“Where’s Blaise and Colin?” he said nastily. Ginny was instantly put off.

“Blaise is in the bathroom,” she said quickly, but could see that Ron’s temper was rising.

“I thought they weren’t supposed to leave you alone with this wanker. Ow!” Hermione had elbowed him in the rib.

Ginny’s temper could match his and more if he wasn’t careful. “I told you, Ronald, I can take care of myself.”

“We can stick around until Blaise and Colin get back. Where is Colin?” Ron asked softening his tone a bit when he realized that his sister was ready to blow her top.

“He went to the post. I told you I was fine,” she said calmly. She glanced at Draco who was cleverly covering his laughter with his hand over his mouth as if pondering something. “You don’t need to stick around on my behalf, but thank you for bothering.” The problem was neither Blaise nor Colin would be returning soon and there wasn’t exactly a cover for that.

“It’s not a problem. I’m just looking out for my baby sister.”

Ginny rolled her eyes. She needed him gone. The fewer questions she had to answer, the better. “So, Hermione,” she said casually looking at a barrel of multi-colored gummi flobberworms. “Has Ron told you his amusing little toilet seat story?”

As expected, Ron gave her a murderous look, but he grabbed Hermione by the arm and started heading out the door. “Um, actually, Gin, I’m sure Blaise’ll be back soon. We have to meet Harry and Luna at the Three Broomsticks soon.”

As the bell on the door tinkled she heard Hermione ask, “What toilet seat story?” Ginny gave a small smirk as they left.

Draco was now practically in tears. “And you thought I was bad. I have to ask again, how did you get sorted into Gryffindor?”

 

Ginny only gave him a wicked grin.

 

~*~*~

 

Slytherin vs. Gryffindor (Part I) by Yazethet

Chapter 25

Slytherin vs. Gryffindor (Part I)

*~*~*

Draco was lounging on a sofa; his feet stretched out and propped up on a cushioned footstool. Ginny’s head lay on his lap and she had her knees bunched up with a book propped up against them. A large book hovered just before Draco, the page turning at each lazy wave of his wand. His other hand subconsciously toyed with Ginny’s red tresses.

Since the Hogsmeade trip less than a week before they had been trading off nights in the Tower of Travels with Blaise and Colin. Their secondary meeting place was a snug little study that was on the fourth floor behind large tapestry that looked like it was part of the wall. Ginny took credit for finding this particular room as in a mad rush to hide from her brother she had pulled Draco into the room without thinking much on it. He had commented on how cozy the room was and it was his suggestion that they meet there on nights when Colin and Blaise had the Tower or when the Tower was unsuitable (the night of the blizzard in the mountains had shown just how unpredictable the Tower could be at times). She had been reluctant, but gave in when he placed another heart melting kiss on her lips.

The problem with the study was that aside from casting a silencing charm around them there was only the tapestry as a barrier between the room and the remainder of the fourth floor and any sounds could escape to make someone suspicious. Draco would typically cast the charm, but Ginny felt it would be safer to at least try to remain quiet while in the room. He laughed at the suggestion, though they did choose to use their time in the study for actual studying purposes.

The first evening they met in the room she had made herself comfortable on the couch and then sent Oya with a note to fetch Draco. When he arrived with his books he told her to sit up so he could get comfortable too. She had protested at first (in the process sitting up anyway) and he had taken his seat, then pulled her back for a quick snog before telling her she could get comfortable again.

She had laid her head on his lap and found it odd how comfortable she felt around him. He would always play with her hair as if it was something he had done all his life and it had just become habit. She loved it when he ran his fingers through her hair, though she never thought Draco to be the sort who would show such affection carelessly. The way he looked at her with his playful smirk and the way he’d hold on to her hand when no one was looking (and even when people were looking, at which point she’d almost regrettably pull her hand away lest their secret be discovered. Each time he’d give a mischievous grin as if he were playing a game and trying to get caught.) was all so unexpected. And yet she was only falling deeper in.

Had it only actually been a week since he had given her his ring? She wondered how it could be possible. They had spent weeks snogging each other and nothing but, however, after he gave her the ring she felt the change. This meant something.

It didn’t even really hit her until she realized after the first night in the study that the only time they kissed was when he first entered the room and then he gave her a short, but sweet, kiss goodnight.

In fact, during the course of the week they had spent every night together, but only one had been spent doing nothing but snogging. The remainder of the week they had studied and talked. And talked. And talked some more. It should have been distressing knowing how much she had in common with the one she previously knew as King Ferret and Son-of-a-Death-Eater. He made her laugh gleefully at some of the preposterous stories he told about growing up in the care of house-elves. In true Malfoy style he had thrown a tantrum at the age of five and sent the three house-elves who were tending to him flying around him crashing into each other’s heads until his mother scolded him.

“You prat!” Ginny exclaimed after her laugher died down.

“Am not. I wanted a chocolate frog and they wouldn’t give me one,” he said. “So I taught them a lesson.”

She continued chuckling. “You don’t always get what you want, you know.”

“Yes I do. Dobby got me the chocolate frog after my mother left. He was ridiculously afraid of heights.”

“You couldn’t seriously have always gotten your way.” She shouldn’t have been shocked.

“Yes,” he said without hesitation. “A Malfoy gets what a Malfoy wants.”

“I don’t believe that.”

“I got you, didn’t I?” he said accompanied by the standard Malfoy smirk of deviousness.

Ginny was about to dispute the matter, but it was true. He had her. So she decided to push the issue elsewhere. “You haven’t beaten Harry in Quidditch, isn’t that something you want, but haven’t gotten?”

His face soured immediately, and she almost regretted broaching the subject. Almost. But she still enjoyed tormenting him.

“I’ll beat him soon enough,” he said with determination.

“Tomorrow, even?” she asked, feeling a little devious herself.

He looked at her as if he knew she was up to something. “Yes. Tomorrow.”

"Care to wager on that?" Ginny said with such cunning innocence that Draco immediately knew she was up to no good.

"And what would be the terms, exactly?" he asked, clearly interested that she had proposed another wager. He was almost surprised, considering the fact she had lost the last bet, even if it wasn't by much.

"If Harry catches the Snitch, as always, you lose and you have to shake his hand and congratulate him for being the better Seeker," Ginny stated.

"Are you insane? I will not congratulate him," he responded, the resentment still apparent on his face.

Ginny goaded him. Yes, she loved to torment him so. In a small way it made her feel like she was getting at least a small amount of payback. Perhaps it was possible to like Draco and still get a little vengeance.

"So you’re willing to admit that you really don't always get your way and that Harry will beat you again because you know he's the better Seeker? I always knew it," she said airily. Her purpose was to annoy him and she knew she'd succeed. Harry had always been a sore point with Draco. She knew that he was jealous of Harry, and perhaps should not have even attempted such mischievousness, but- really she couldn't resist.

"You're supposed to be my girlfriend."

"So what's your point?" she asked, knowing full well he meant that she was being a bit mean.

"I think that's a bit inappropriate." He was obviously irritated.

"Well, he is a better Seeker."

"He is not. And even if he was, you're supposed to be on my side. You're supposed to tell me that you know I'll beat him. How truly unsupportive of you," he said sourly, though Ginny thought she could hear a bit of humor and mockery in his words.

"First of all, no one said that because I agreed to be your girlfriend I should suddenly fawn over you and tell you all sorts of untrue things. I'm not here to worship the ground you walk on, my dear Casanova. Second of all, if you're so sure of your talents, then why don't you take the bet?"

"Alright, I'll take the bet. But, if I win, then you have to announce to the school that you are my girlfriend," he said smirking despite the bitterness.

Ginny didn't respond for a moment. She knew that Draco's talent as a Seeker was actually comparable to Harry's. She still wasn't quite ready to inform the entire school that she had actually given in to Draco Malfoy's charm. Aside from her friends telling her she was absolutely insane and trying to hex Draco, everyone would actually think she was just another conquest. If things didn't work out (as she was still almost determined that they wouldn't) then she didn't need everyone telling her what she already knew. She was stupid for falling for him. Half the girls probably couldn't blame her for it, but she'd always prided herself on trying to make smart decisions. Agreeing to be Draco's girlfriend was probably not one of her most intelligent choices. It was a moment of weakness (much like any time she was dealing with Draco, and she still cursed herself for not being able to avoid it), she had given in.

She was just going to have to make sure he didn't win.

"Just so you remember, I play for the Gryffindor side."

"Are you afraid that I really do have talent?" he asked, the bitterness replaced with an expression of smugness.

"I never said you didn't have talent. But don't expect me to go easy on you just because you're my boyfriend." Ginny was getting the feeling that the bet may have been a bad idea.

"I was counting on that. I told you I wanted to see what you could do on a real broom. That's why I got you the Pegasus. However, I'm still going to win. I'm looking forward to seeing the shock on everyone's face when you reveal our dirty little secret." Now she was sure it was a bad idea.

"Why are you so insistent on letting everyone know I'm your girlfriend. Do you really think it's necessary to have everyone know that I was stupid enough to fall for the infamous Malfoy charm?"

"Yes. And I would like to be able to kiss you in public. The secrecy game is only a thrill for so long, you know."

“Getting bored already?” she chided.

“Hardly. You are by far the most interesting girl I’ve ever met,” he paused a moment and then added, “and the most stubborn.”

“Well,” she said returning the smirk he had given her, “I must give you credit for being persistent. It’s usually very difficult to change a Weasley woman’s mind once she’s made it up.”

“So the bet’s on then.”

As he pulled her into his arms with a roguish look in his eye, somehow she got the feeling he had twisted things into his favor yet again. She just sighed and enjoyed getting lost in his embrace once more.

*~*~*

“This is complete and utter shite, Blaise, and you know it!” Colin yelled in an uncharacteristic fury.

After a short, but satisfying snogging Ginny and Draco had decided to see if Blaise and Colin would bear witness to their agreed wager. They never intended on walking in on an argument, perhaps a little snogging, but Colin and Blaise got along too well for both Ginny and Draco to ever think they would argue.

They didn’t have time to open the door to the Tower. Colin was already barreling through it.

“What’s going on here?” Draco asked firmly.

Colin looked too infuriated to speak; he simply glared in the direction of the door.

“You’re being unreasonable, Colin,” Blaise said stepping through the door looking in a state himself, but seemed far more collected than Colin at the moment.

“I’m being unreasonable!? I think I have every right to be unreasonable after that bloody comment! And I thought I could share everything with you without worrying about it getting thrown back into my face,” he said and promptly turned to run down the tower stairs.

“Colin, wait…” but it was too late. He was already out of sight. Blaise moved to follow him, but Ginny stopped him.

“Give him a little time to cool off,” she said soothingly.

“Sodding hell!” Blaise screamed with sudden rage slamming his fist into the door making both Ginny and Draco flinch. He pulled his fist back gritting his teeth and rubbing at the raw pain he had just inflicted upon himself. “I didn’t mean to, Gin,” he said, his voice carried none the explosive rage he had shown only a moment before. He was sorrowful. “Tell him to come back. Tell him I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it! I…Damn it!”

“Trust me,” Ginny continued in her most soothing tone. “It’s better that he has time to cool off. What happened?”

He walked back into the tower where a large tent had been erected in the middle of a desert environment. Several multicolored cushions were scattered about the canvassed floor. An open picnic basket remained open and half its content eaten. Clearly, at one point they were having a good time.

Blaise threw himself on a pile of pillows and groaned in frustration.

Draco brushed the sand off several of the cushions and made himself comfortable. “I believe you’re being a bit over dramatic again, Zabini,” he informed his friend as he popped a couple of grapes into his mouth. Blaise glared at him.

“Don’t start with me, Malfoy.”

Draco rolled his eyes. Ginny also glared at him.

“Alright, Casanova. If you’re going to be a git about it, why don’t you leave and let me talk to him,” she scolded.

Draco gave her a winsome grin. “And this is why you’ll always be a Gryff. You’re so caring others feelings. Funny, you are capable of going from one extreme to the other in a matter of minutes,” there was no bitterness behind his words and it seemed to be said in good nature, but Ginny suddenly felt very hypocritical. Draco continue, “He really is prone to these dramatic outbursts. Trust me, it’s better to let him pout it out and realize that it’s not that big of an issue.”

Blaise glowered at him some more. Ginny did the same.

“I recall not too long ago someone else I know,” Blaise said pointedly at Draco, “had a bout of dramatics himself, over a – ”

“Fine,” Draco interrupted in apparent fear of his true nature being discovered. “Go on, share.”

The corner of Ginny’s lip raised just a fraction at Draco’s lack of concern. How could he be such a prat and still manage to make her like him? She sighed inwardly as Blaise started his story.

“I’m not even sure what happened. We were talking about Harry-Bloody-Potter and the next thing I knew we were arguing!”

Draco smiled. Ginny frowned.

He proceeded to tell them that Colin had a crush on Harry Potter for a long time. This was no surprise to either Draco or Ginny. They had apparently gotten into a discussion about the best way to come out to the public. Colin had simply gotten tired of hiding. A few rumors had circulated about his crush on the famous Harry Potter and one day he decided not deny the fact that he was indeed googly-eyed over the Boy Who Lived. Rumors spread and when he was asked point blank if he was gay he began freely admitting it. His parents and brother already knew about it and with Ginny as his best friend he felt strong enough to deal with any problems the truth might cause. Harry had issues with it at first, but Colin explained that he knew Harry wasn’t gay and there wasn’t a chance in hell. Though if he ever changed his mind…

Blaise had informed Colin that he didn’t plan on coming out any time soon. Colin expressed his desires to be with someone he didn’t have to sneak around with. Blaise had apparently taken offense and Colin had tried explaining that he didn’t mean Blaise had to come out soon, but he wanted him to think about it.

“I panicked. We’ve only been going out since the start of term and he’s already talking about me telling everyone! It took me long enough to accept myself and now he’s already wanting me to think about the next step. What was I supposed to do!” He groaned in frustration again.

“See, I told you he was being over dramatic,” Draco stated as Blaise shot him another glare.

Ginny ignored Draco’s thoughtlessness. She felt the need to help the two through their difficulties, but sensed the irony in the situation. “What did you do?”

“I told him…it was stupid of me, I know…but…I felt like he was pushing me to do something! It was like he was giving me an ultimatum.”

“Out with it, Blaise,” Draco said impatiently. “What did you say that could possibly warrant such an theatrical performance from the both of you?”

“I told him if he wanted a black haired, green eyed boy wonder prancing around at his side that he should go convince Harry-Sodding-Potter to be his public boy-toy just like he always dreamed and let me stay out of the spotlight where it’s safe. I’m such a bastard!”

Ginny moved to speak, but Draco was already commenting.

“Yes, you are a bastard,” he said matter-of-factly. Ginny was stunned. “First off, this is a minor argument and Colin will get over your stupidity. Secondly, why the hell is everyone so damned jealous of Harry To-Hell-With-Him Potter!”

“Like you should talk,” Ginny interjected with a wry smile.

“Exactly. That’s why my beaters are going to bloody him up tomorrow,” he replied dismissively. Ginny opened her mouth to reply in outrage, but he continued quickly. “But that’s not the point. Do you like him?”

Ginny failed to believe that Draco was actually giving his friend advice on his love life.

Blaise sighed heavily, “I think it’s worse than that. I think I love him.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Marvelous,” he said unenthusiastically. “What you’ll need to do now is make some sort of grand gesture to tell him so. Extremely over the top apologies are almost guaranteed to work,” he said glancing over at Ginny and winking slyly.

Again, Ginny was going to add something, but Blaise jumped up. “You’re right! I can fix this. He can’t completely hate me,” he muttered almost to himself.

“And if he does, there’s always the Imperius curse,” Draco added as Blaise left the tower. Neither of them had any idea what he was going to do to fix it. Ginny was still trying to digest the fact that she had just witnessed Draco urging his friend to go after Colin.

He was constantly surprising her with little oddities she’d never expect of him. He was making it more difficult to remember exactly why she had ever hated him.

~*~*~

The following day, Ginny performed her ritual pre-maintenance on her broom and donned the scarlet and gold uniform. As it was the first game of the season she was nervous, but even more so as she had a bet riding on the winner of this game. She was anxious to prove her abilities as a beater and she couldn’t help feeling the need to show off a bit in front of Draco.

As she was double checking her Quidditch gear Ron had approached with Harry at his side.

“So which side is he cheering for?” Ron asked in attempt at being nonchalant.

“Excuse me?” she said, unsure of what he was talking about.

“Blaise. Isn’t he watching today? I thought he might have a difficult time choosing sides, you know. Though, I doubt he’d be brave enough to cheer on his Gryffindor girlfriend. Can you imagine the razzing he’d get?” he asked cheerfully as he elbowed Harry.

“Um…yeah,” she said feeling a little sick to her stomach.

“You better not go easy on them just because he’s a Slytherin,” Ron warned her unnecessarily.

She regained a little nerve. “As if I’d purposely lose the game just because my boyfriend is a Slytherin.” She almost couldn’t believe her brother even had the thought.

“Well, you know how sneaky those Slytherin are. Probably trying to take advantage of -”

“Ron,” she interrupted. “Let’s not have this discussion for the millionth time. We’ve got some Slytherin arse to kick.”

Ron and Harry smiled. “Exactly. And you can plow another Bludger into Ferret’s stomach! And this time we get to be present,” Harry said excitedly. For a brief moment Ginny thought about losing the game so Draco wouldn’t have to congratulate him. But it was only a brief moment.

She nodded and took a deep breath as the remainder of the squad gathered.

“Alright, team. It’s the first game of the season,” Harry started a little nervously. It was his first game at Captain and his first team pep talk. As he continued Ginny felt her anxiousness melt away and she felt bound and determined to win this one. She had to.

~*~*~

Slytherin vs. Gryffindor (Part II) by Yazethet

Chapter 26

Slytherin vs. Gryffindor Part II

~*~*~

 

The two teams faced each other at the center of the Quidditch pitch. Typical pre-game banter was exchanged while awaiting the arrival of the referee, Madam Hooch. Draco glanced around the arena taking in excitement of the crowd. He could feel their energy coursing through his veins. He absolutely loved playing Quidditch, but playing in front of an audience enhanced his reverence for the game. There was just something about showing off his talents in front of a crowd. The only other time he felt a similar rush was when he was around Ginny.

He stood at the center as the Captain of the Slytherin team, opposite Harry. Seeker versus Seeker. Captain versus Captain. Slytherin versus Gryffindor. And instead of glaring at his opponent he was openly smirking at her.

He watched her shift uncomfortably under his gaze. He was well aware of her wish for their relationship to remain a secret, yet he loved to make her nervous. At first it hadn’t really mattered that she refused to be seen with him. But as a Malfoy, he was used to showing off what was rightfully his, and he had won her over, fair and square. It had taken a large amount of effort on his part, but he had done it. He felt that it was his right to be able to treat her like a proper girlfriend. He had, after all, given her his ring.

Perhaps it was a bit arrogant for him to want everyone to know that Ginny Weasley was his. She would probably never approve of that view toward it, but that’s how he saw it. Likewise, he felt that he now belonged to her. And Draco Malfoy belonged to no one.

When it happened exactly, he wasn’t sure. In retrospect, it could have happened long before he even began his attempt to court her. It was difficult to determine what precisely caused it, but it was something he had now accepted as a simple truth. He loved her.

Prior to Ginny he’d never given it much thought. He knew of the type of love that was obligatory: loving his parents because his parents loved him. He knew how to love material possessions. That only came naturally to a Malfoy. But loving someone just because was an entirely foreign concept. Working with his Headhealer he had managed to become a little more open to such ideas, though in all honesty, there were times he’d accept such ideas only because it would spite his father. It was his way of silently rebelling.

And yet, the more he thought about it, the more he felt that it was more of a truth than a concept. He had come to that conclusion after listening to Blaise rant that very morning about how love caused such insanity that it was a wonder there wasn’t a special ward in St. Mungo’s for those suffering from its effects.

“For example, look at what Ginny’s done to you, mate,” he had pointed out while Draco was tuning out most of his raving lunacy over Colin Creevey. At the mention of Ginny’s name he suddenly tuned back into the conversation.

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve gone completely bonkers over her. She’s made you do things I never thought you’d ever do. Being in love is just so maddening! How do you manage?” he’d asked unaware that Draco hadn’t quite made the determination that he was indeed in love with Ginny Weasley. He hadn’t answered the question and just allowed Blaise to continue on his tirade on the insanity of love while he pondered the possibility.

And so, as he stood waiting for Madam Hooch to blow the whistle, he watched her and felt determined that he was going to win this bet as well. In addition to being able to actually kiss Ginny in public, he was going to make her brother and Potter insane because of it. It was perfect.

“You won’t intimidate Ginny with your evil glare, Malfoy,” Harry warned as they mounted their brooms.

He turned his gaze to the famous wizard and cocked his head slightly, the smirk edging towards a sneer. “I doubt she’s intimidated by anything.”

His response received a look of bewilderment from Harry. It was just enough of a distraction that Harry was slightly slow with takeoff at the sound of the whistle. Draco instantly shot up in the direction that the Snitch had taken.

The glint of gold disappeared almost immediately.

He paused, watching the other players from above as the Quaffle was passed back and forth between the Chasers. Slytherin was in possession. He let a small smile of pride escape, as he was quite sure this was the best team Slytherin had since he began playing Quidditch. The Gryffindor Chasers could barely keep up as the red ball was tossed expertly from one Slytherin to another.

He kept his eye on Potter for any movement indicating the Snitch had reappeared. He failed to notice a Bludger flying straight at him. It was only by the good graces of Merlin and Brewster, one of the Beaters, that he had escaped a serious concussion. He knew that Ginny was behind it and shot a look at her indicating his agreement that the game was on.

Ginny instantly took off after the jet-black ball ready to control its path away from the Gryffindor Seeker. She had felt a slight pang of guilt at the last shot she took at Draco since her aim was slightly off due to a little nervousness, and she had almost taken his head off. She took a deep breath and focused. She wasn’t going to allow him to distract her from winning. Losing to him this time would be disastrous.

The Slytherin team made score after score. Ginny had been fighting to keep the Bludger moving in the direction of Slytherin’s team, however, their Chasers were good. The Gryffindor Chasers needed a little improvement on their dodging techniques. Ron had made huge improvements on his Keeping skills, but he wasn’t showing it today. He’d missed far too many goals that should have blocked.

With the score at 70 – 10 with Slytherin in the lead, one of their Beaters fouled the worst of the Gryffindor Chasers, Victoria Frobisher. A timeout was called as the Chaser had been injured enough to be sent to the Hospital Wing and a replacement had to be called in to take the shot. The commentator, a Hufflepuff girl by the name of Megan Jones, announced the timeout.

Harry had been in the middle of another team pep talk when the feminine voice of the announcer disappeared to be replaced by the familiar tenor of Blaise Zabini.

The moment she recognized the voice, Ginny stopped listening to Harry’s words of encouragement.

She was perfectly content to allow Ron to believe that Blaise had been her boyfriend. He seemed to accept it and she wasn’t quite ready to tell him the truth. Unfortunately, Blaise had not been fully informed of her plan to continue allowing people to think he was her boyfriend. She had just simply assumed he would continue the ruse, as she had been sure that it would benefit him as well. Her face paled at his words.

“I just wanted to take this moment to send a message to someone I love,” he began the moment he had everyone’s attention.

Harry was annoyed at losing the team’s attention as all the girls were suddenly sighing in admiration. The rumor that Blaise was her boyfriend had apparently spread further than Ginny had realized. She’d only begun hearing mutterings of “How sweet!” and “Isn’t that romantic!” before Blaise plowed forward with his speech.

“I wanted to say sorry. I’m sorry for being a complete idiot. I don’t want to lose you…” he continued. Ginny couldn't see Blaise very well, but his voice reeked of desperation.

“I didn’t know you two had a fight,” Ron whispered. Ginny bit her lip. There was nothing she could do about the words that were about to come spilling out of his mouth. She only hoped that he wouldn’t say anything more than needed to be said.

“Over the past two months we’ve gotten to know each other so well. You’ve made me laugh and you’ve made me a better person,” Blaise said with passion. Ginny rolled her eyes. It was probably a good thing that he wasn’t her boyfriend otherwise she’d have to maim him for being so mushy in public. The girls sighed again.

“I didn’t know you two were that serious,” Harry commented huffily.

Ginny remained silent. She covered her mouth with her hand as if hoping against hope that Blaise would telepathically pick up on her wish for him to shut it. If only McGonagall hadn’t left to take Victoria to the infirmary. She would have put a stop to this.

“You’re so important to me and I am willing to do anything for you…”

“Good Godric, he is over dramatic,” Ginny mumbled under her breath.

Ron smirked at her words. “Not into public displays of affection? See you should dump that prat. I told you –”

“Colin, please forgive me. I love you.”

Jaws dropped simultaneously across the pitch. Ginny moved her hand from her mouth to her forehead as she rolled her eyes and groaned inwardly. All eyes were on Colin as he seemed to be the only one making any movement in the crowd. Everyone sat in semi-shock at the announcement. Colin made his way to Blaise and embraced him the moment he was in reach. Unsure of how exactly to react, the audience began a light round of uncertain applause as the two united. Blaise and Colin seemed to be in their own world and ignored all else as their lips came together in a tender kiss of forgiveness and relief. A kiss that was beginning to escalate into an all out public snogging session until Professor Sprout made her way over to that particular section of the stands and caught their attention.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Ron said making a sour face.

“Get over it,” Ginny reproached. Her brother could be so insensitive. “Besides, Charlie’s gay, you’ll probably have to get used to it,” she added just for spite.

“Wait a second, I thought Blaise was your boyfriend, aren’t you upset?” he asked and then as if it took a full moment for it to sink in, “Charlie’s what?”

“I was kidding,” she muttered, “I think,” she added in a voice that was barely audible. “And yes, I’m upset.” She made a weak attempt at appearing so.

“You don’t look that upset,” Harry observed.

“Of course she’s upset!” chimed in Natalie MacDonald, one of the Chasers. “She’s in shock!”

“That bastard! He did it just to put you off your game!” Ron grumbled.

“We’re already losing,” Ginny reminded him. This was definitely not good. Ron looked ready to kill. This was not at all how things were supposed to go.

“I’m going to pummel him into the ground!” he continued ferociously. “I told him what I’d do if he hurt you –”

“No, don’t do that, that’ll be useless –,” she said trying to sway his mood.

“And I can’t believe that Colin, of all people, would steal your boyfriend! After being you’re best friend for ages! That bloody pillock.”

The last thing Ginny needed was for Ron to run around thinking he could beat up her friends.

“Time’s up, back into positions!” Madam Hooch called.

They mounted their brooms and flew into position for the foul shot. Ginny could hear Ron’s continuous mutterings about the need to mutilate both Blaise and Colin for daring to hurt his baby sister. She groaned in irritation.

“Well, that was an interesting time out, don’t you think?” Draco said with an amused grin as he flew parallel to Ginny.

She’d been about to answer when Harry interrupted. “Sod off, Malfoy!” Then he turned to Ginny, “Don’t let him bother you. There’s someone out there better for you than he was,” he said in attempt at comforting her. He gave her a meaningful look.

Ginny almost wanted to giggle at the insanity of the entire situation, but she bit her lip instead. “Uh, thanks, Harry. I’m sure you’re right,” she replied as sincerely as she could under the circumstances.

Draco caught the meaningful look Harry had given her. His slightly possessive instinct kicked in and was having a difficult time fighting off the jealousy that was stabbing at him. He absolutely detested Potter. “Don’t tell me you think you’re the one who’s better for her,” he said glaring at him.

Harry was taken aback at the resentment he’d heard.

“Maybe I -,” he started spitefully, but Ginny cut him off.

“Harry, let’s just win this one. It would make me feel a lot better.”

“Right,” he agreed, but continued to stare at Draco. The whistle blew again and the shot was taken. Gryffindor scored.

The match continued but with more intensity than before. Ron was blocking goal after goal and some form of offensive name directed at the Slytherin almost always escaped his mouth each time. Harry continued to focus on capturing the Snitch and proceeded to use every maneuver he knew to distract Draco each time the golden ball reappeared. The Chasers had even stepped it up a notch and had scored several times. It was as if the entire team was making an attempt at defending her honor after seeing that Blaise had come out and publicly declared his love for another.

The Slytherin team, however, had a heyday with the information. During another penalty shot Ginny had watched the Slytherin Beaters get together apparently exchanging some information and flashed her an obnoxious look along with rather loathsome smirks.

The first remark came from Brewster while she was making an attempt at saving Harry from another Bludger attack. She had reached the ball before Brewster had, but during her attempt to hit it back in Slytherin’s direction he had called out to her, “Are you just that awful in bed, Weasel? Awful enough to turn men off women? That’s the second bloke you've ruined, isn’t it?”

Ginny had been distracted only a moment, but it was enough to knock her aim off again. Thankfully, the other Gryffindor Beater had made up for her mistake. She vowed vengeance.

Somehow, the taunting had spread across the playing field and every Slytherin began taunting her about being so incredibly bad in bed that boys would rather renounce hetero status than go out with another girl like Weasley.

Apparently the rumor that she and Blaise were actually going out had made its way to Slytherin ears. Even though she knew the truth, it was still disturbing to be ridiculed about it.

Draco hadn’t heard a single taunt that had been directed and Ginny Weasley. He noted, whenever he had the chance to glimpse in her direction, she seemed more irate than usual. Her obvious temper did not seem to deter her ability to beat. It only increased the force with which she sent the Bludger toward his side and he’d nearly been knocked off his broom on more than one occasion.

She was amazingly talented and Draco found himself, again, admiring her abilities. He was thoroughly disgusted with his team, as they had allowed the Gryffindors to catch up in scoring so was determined to take it upon himself to win the game.

He caught sight of the Snitch just as Harry had turned to glare at one of the Slytherin Chasers. He shifted full speed ahead and hoped that Potter was distracted just long enough to allow him to close in on the golden ball. It switched directions, however, and Potter was now right beside him racing for the win. Ginny almost instantly fell into place next to him, apparently in ‘guard dog’ position to prevent a Bludger from knocking him off his stride. His own Beater, Brewster, was a little slower, but followed suit.

The four sped down the center of the pitch at ridiculous speeds. The race couldn’t have lasted more than several seconds, but numerous things happened in that short time span.

Draco was reaching forward and was mere inches away from the glittering globe when he heard Brewster ask Ginny, “Have you slept with Potter and made him gay, too?” He was instantly outraged and it was just enough of a distraction to allow Potter to snatch the win right out of his grasp. However, for that instant he didn’t care that he had just lost. At about the same time he had turned to punish he who dared insult his girlfriend by saying that she had slept with Potter, Ginny had already begun retaliation by redirecting a Bludger straight in his direction. He felt an odd satisfaction at seeing Brewster go down howling in pain since the Bludger had flown right at his hand. He didn’t even have time to attempt to knock the black ball away. It was only moments afterwards that he realized he had just lost the bet and now he had to actually tell the one person he loathed that he was a better Seeker.

Both teams landed and those in the scarlet and gold uniforms gathered together hugging each other in celebration of their victory. Draco gritted his teeth in irritation at what he was about to do. He almost turned and walked in the other direction and forgot about the whole thing. Surely, Ginny couldn’t possibly expect him to actually go through with it.

Then he caught sight of Harry wrapping his arms around Ginny. It was a simple congratulatory hug, but the instant burning jealousy overtook him and he stalked right over to the cheering Gryffs. He felt that Harry had prolonged that hug just a little too long. Too long, as in he shouldn’t have even touched Ginny in the first place. He actually grabbed Harry by the scruff of his cloak and pulled him away from Ginny.

“What the bloody hell are you doing, Ferret?” he said jerking away from Draco’s grasp and turning toward him.

Draco was still gritting his teeth but was making an attempt at his most charming smile. “Congratulations, Potter,” he forced himself to say though his teeth. “You were the better Seeker today.” He grabbed Harry’s hand and shook it, but pulled him just a little closer for his final statement. He lowered his voice, “Touch her again, and you’re dead.”

He released his hand and walked away. He walked past Ginny and gave her a quick smirk. He decided not to linger and headed straight for the locker rooms.

~*~*~

Draco's Bad Day by Yazethet

Chapter 27


Draco’s Bad Day


~*~*~


Ginny watched as Harry continued standing in the same place, his hand still outstretched slightly as if he wasn’t quite sure what to do with it after he had shaken hands with Draco Malfoy. He had a look of horror, shock, and disgust. Ginny heard the congratulations, but also saw that Draco had said something afterwards to cause Harry’s reaction. Draco’s smirk, as he walked by, told her that he was up to no good.


It had been so much easier when she was dating Michael Corner and keeping that a secret from Ron. First of all, at the time, Ron didn’t pay much attention to her love life – at least he hadn’t until he found out that she had broken it off with Michael. Second of all, Michael would follow her instructions to the letter because he was slightly intimidated by her. Draco, on the other hand, was not.


She had realized some time ago that the intimidation factor was part of her attraction to him. It wasn’t really that she felt intimidated by him at all. In fact, she felt they were on the same level. But why did he feel the need to complicate her life even more? If she could keep from melting in his hypnotic gaze again, she was going to have to have a little talk with her ‘boyfriend.’ But first, she needed to do some damage control. She wasn’t sure where to start. She was going to need to keep Ron from killing both Blaise and Colin, then she was going to have to tell Harry to ignore Draco’s nonsense.


Harry approached her first.


“We need to talk,” he said somberly. He glanced quickly over to where Ron was celebrating with the remainder of the team. He pulled her aside.


Ginny’s stomach dropped. Perhaps, it was too late for damage control.


“What did you want to talk about?” she said innocently. No need in giving anything away since she wasn’t positive he knew anything anyway.


"I think you know. And Ron,” he said looking over again to check that Ron was out of earshot, “is going to have kittens if he finds out.”


Ginny was indecisive. Should she confirm his suspicions? Or should she act as if she had no idea what he was going on about?

“If?” she asked slowly. ‘If’ was an indication that Harry wasn’t going to say anything. Then again, she still wasn’t sure exactly how clued in Harry was. “If he finds out about what?” she continued as if she were clueless.

He sighed impatiently. “I was just informed by the ferret himself that should I touch you again I’m dead,” he said half-mockingly.

She couldn’t help the slight lift of the right corner of her mouth. If she were in her right mind she would have been furious about the threat. Nevertheless, a small part of her enjoyed the display of jealousy, and she was a little ashamed about it. Draco knew he had no reason to be jealous.

 

“Whatever bizarre obsession he has with you needs to be put to a stop,” he continued.

 

“He’s harmless,” she said, dismissively. “He’s just trying to be a prat.”

 

“That’s not the impression I got,” Harry argued. “He’s nutters. People who are obsessed can be dangerous. He’s seeing a Headhealer for Merlin’s sake, Ginny!”

 

“Harry, it’s none of your concern,” Ginny returned with a little irritation. It was odd how difficult it was to keep from defending Draco openly.

 

“But I am concerned. You’re my friend and if Malfoy is up to something –”

 

“Draco isn’t up to anything!” she snapped.


Harry was momentarily taken aback by her hostile tone and she regretted being so defensive. She was on the verge of an apology, and then Harry asked, “What’s that?”

“What’s what?” she queried.

She realized he was looking at the collar of her robes. She reached up felt the smooth, square-cut emerald that was attached to the thick silver band with the Malfoy insignia. Draco’s ring, which had been tucked into her robes during the game, was now partially visible. At some point, the chain had apparently become displaced. She hurriedly tucked it back under her robe.

“Harry – ”

 

“Come on, you two! We are going back to the common room to celebrate!” Ron grabbed Harry and Ginny by the arms and started dragging them toward the castle.

~*~*~

Ginny escaped the havoc of the celebration with thankful ease. Upon exiting the portrait, she found it difficult to decide where she could hide for a bit. The rumors about her relationship with Blaise were circulating again and she was in no mood to deal with the pitiful gazes she was receiving. Anger was the feeling she thought she should be experiencing, but the situation seemed to be far too complex to have only a single emotion.

 

The monstrous lie she had allowed to develop during the course of her relationship with Draco was becoming almost too much to bear. But would the truth be any easier? She was beginning to wonder.

 

Instead of wandering to one of her regular castle hideouts, Ginny found herself headed outdoors. Fresh air would help clear her head. She walked the perimeter of the lake until she reached a cluster of trees at the far end. There she sat watching the shallow ripples the light breeze created as it moved across the water. She needed to figure out a way out of the mess she had created not only for herself, but for her friends as well. It wasn’t likely they were enjoying the rumors any more than she did. And then there was the matter of Draco’s careless remark to Harry. As much as she hoped that Harry would forget about it, that too seemed unlikely.

 

~*~*~

 

Draco had been in a fury after the Quidditch match. It had been bad enough that he’d lost the bet and had publicly congratulated his worst enemy. When he reached the locker room to change, however, things grew far worse. All of the insults and taunting that he’d missed during the match was being repeated by his bitter teammates. Though it was traditional for the Slytherin team to take out their frustrations about losing by repeating every obnoxious thing they’d heard about the opposing team, this time the insults were directed at Draco’s girlfriend and that did not set well with him.

 

He changed while silently seething at all the lies he’d heard. How could Ginny possibly expect him to put up with this? Surely, she would want her own boyfriend to defend her reputation. If any of them knew her association with him they would all hold their tongue and none of them would even dare to ponder a bad thought about Ginny Weasley.

 

Unfortunately, he had promised to keep their relationship a secret and informing the Quidditch team would be just as good as announcing it in front of the entire school. The thought of just walking out of the locker room without a word had crossed Draco’s mind. He might have done just that had he not heard the comment about Ginny sleeping with Potter again. Unable to control his temper, Draco began hurling hexes at his teammates. When he’d finished, he was sufficiently satisfied with the looks of shock he saw amidst their disfigured faces.

 

“This loss was disgraceful,” he spat in explanation. “If we lose the next match, I will not be so forgiving.”

 

With that, Draco turned and stalked out of the locker room leaving the Slytherin team to now ponder their punishment.

 

~*~*~

 

As Draco left the locker room he spied Ginny as she wandered around the lake. His day had, thus far, been rather terrible and perhaps he could guilt his girlfriend into a snogging session to make him feel better. After all, it had been largely her fault that he was having such a rough time.

 

She seemed unaware that she was being followed so Draco took the opportunity to take her by surprise. It took a few moments for him to catch up to her once she sat with her back against one of the trees alongside the lake. As he closed in on her he stepped on a pile of dry leaves alerting her to his presence. He didn’t hesitate as she turned to the noise. Quickly, he leaned over and captured her lips with his before she could say a word.

 

He was just beginning to lose himself in the kiss when he suddenly found himself being pushed away.

 

“Don’t you even think about it, Draco Malfoy! We need to talk.” She spoke firmly and Draco took it as a sign that she was serious. He sighed with more than a small hint of frustration. It appeared his bad day was only going to get worse. Almost sure he knew what this was going to be about, he settled against the tree next to his girlfriend and crossed his arms.

 

“Why, in Merlin’s name, would you threaten Harry like that?”

 

“He had his arms around you,” he responded sourly. “I simply warned him against further action.”

 

“He thinks you’re obsessed with me!”

 

“I am.” Draco attempted a beguiling smirk in hopes of lightening the mood. She rolled her eyes indicating his attempt had failed.

 

“He thinks you’re obsessed in a dangerous way. Do you have any idea how impossible it is to convince him otherwise without sounding too suspicious? You’re just making everything more complicated.”

 

I’m making everything more complicated?” Draco snapped. “I wasn’t the one who created the rumor you were dating Blaise Zabini only to have him out himself at a bloody Quidditch match in front of the whole bloody school. Do you have any idea what people are saying? This wouldn’t be an issue if you weren’t so insistent about hiding this from everyone.”

 

“If everyone knew then my brother and Harry would try to kill you!”

 

“I think you underestimate my ability to defend myself. I had to hex my entire team because they were saying crass things about you!” She stared at him in disbelief.

 

“Would it really be so bad to be known as Draco Malfoy’s girlfriend?”

 

“I – it’s complicated,” she said softly.

 

His intention was not to push her into doing something she wasn’t ready to do, but he was sick of being blamed for complicating her life.

 

“So it’s okay for Harry-bloody-Potter to have his arms around you in a public place, but not your own boyfriend?”

 

“Honestly, you have got to get over yourself. You’re taking this jealousy ploy too far. I’ve already explained to you what my relationship with Harry is.”

 

“Perhaps that wouldn’t be so difficult for me to get over being jealous if you’d get over your embarrassment at dating a Slytherin,” he shot back. “No, wait. You weren’t that embarrassed when everyone believed you were dating Blaise Zabini.” It hadn’t really bothered him up until that very moment. His temper was flaring and he was beginning to lack control.

 

“Blaise Zabini’s father wasn’t the one who slipped an enchanted diary into my possession during my first year here!”

 

“I’m not my father.” There was a disturbing chill in his words. It was perhaps his worst fear that he would never manage to get out of his father’s dark shadow.

 

“I’m not saying you are,” she said irritably, unaware of the pain she had caused. “But everyone else thinks you’re his clone.”

 

“I don’t give a rat’s arse what everyone else thinks.” His tone was still cool.

 

“Well, I do! I’m the one who has to go around looking like an idiot when things don’t work out between us. I’ll just be another conquest for you.”

 

“Is that what you really think?” He was in utter shock.

 

“Well, it’s the truth isn’t it?”

 

“No. The truth is you’re too bloody stubborn to give us a real chance. I think you’re afraid that what you’re feeling is something more serious than you would like to admit. You can’t tell me that you really think you’re just some ridiculous conquest. If you believe that then your head is even thicker than your brother’s. I don’t give Malfoy heirlooms to girls who I think are a passing fancy. I don’t cast hexes on my fellow Slytherin housemates for just any girl and I certainly don’t spend every waking moment thinking about someone who I deem as some type of trophy. “

 

“If you don’t want me to tell anyone I won’t. That doesn’t matter to me. But I won’t pretend to not to hear when someone makes malicious remarks about you. I can’t go around acting indifferent toward you anymore. I love you and I don’t care if the whole ruddy school knows it,” he said angrily.

 

The words just flowed from his mouth and he seemed to have no power over what was said. He’d been so flabbergasted that she seemed so intent on making their relationship out to be some temporary thing even after he’d given her his ring.

 

And then, without realizing it, the words ‘I love you’ had escaped his lips. He meant it, but he had no intention of relaying that message to her during an argument. It was most inappropriate.

No wonder she could do nothing but stare at him with a look of astonishment on her face. He wished she would say something, anything. Even a slap to the face would have been more welcome than her stunned silence.

 

“I have to go,” she announced. She was completely unreadable as she made her way back to the castle.

 

Draco suddenly felt as though the world had dropped out from beneath him. He was certain he had scared her off with his little speech. They’d been officially together only a short while. Was it possible he was wrong about what she felt? Was it possible that it was wishful thinking on his part that she could feel that deeply about him?

 

It took everything to keep panic from overtaking him. If had made a mistake there was certainly a way to fix it. He would find a way. The thought of losing Ginny was just not palatable.


~*~*~

The Sneaky Slytherin by Yazethet

Chapter 28

The Sneaky Slytherin

*~*~*

Ginny spent most of the night staring blankly at the curtained canopy of her four poster bed with a single thought revolving in her head.

He loves me?

The multitude of emotions she had gone through earlier in the day could not compare to what she was feeling at that moment. Her confusion had only multiplied.

He loves me.

He’d said it without any warning whatsoever. Had she been prepared for the moment, she could have responded intelligently. She could have explained to him that she was just not ready to classify what was between them as love. She could have told him that he was moving too fast.

He loves me.

Instead, she walked away without managing any type of proper response since hearing the words spoken aloud from his lips left her head feeling empty as the words reverberated through her mind. For some inexplicable reason she could not feel her feet as she made her way back to the castle.

He loves me!

Ginny was almost angry with him for uttering the phrase in the middle of an argument. It was an unfair distraction when she was trying to make a point. But she could no longer recall just what point needed to be made.

He loves me!

Having gone through what seemed like every other possible emotion, elation seeped into heart. A strong desire to deny it was still present, but she could not refute the thrill that the sound of his voice speaking those words brought to her.

~*~*~

The following morning, Ginny’s first thought was to locate Draco and apologize to him for her badly chosen reaction to his words. However, in the middle of writing a note for Oya to deliver to him, doubt began to creep into her mind. What if she’d misheard him or what if it had all been a figment of her imagination? She still felt light-headed, but she was beginning to think it was caused by a lack of sustenance in her stomach. Then the worst thought occurred to her. What if he didn’t mean it?

Suddenly she felt the need to talk it over with Colin. He was her best friend and could offer her the practical advice. And then she realized she hadn’t spoken with Colin since before the Quidditch match. He could very well be upset with her since she was partly to blame for the current round of rumors.

Ginny’s heart sunk. How was it possible for one lie to snowball into an avalanche of rumors?

By noon Ginny had made her way down to the common room. She was thankful for its near empty state since she wasn’t much in the mood to hear more sympathetic whispers. The first thing on her agenda was to find Colin and see if she could find any way to start putting things right.

As she exited the painting she heard his voice.

“What in Godric’s name possessed you to do it, Gin?” While she could tell he was angry, it was mostly disappointment that she heard in his voice.

She took a deep breath. “Colin, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to happen. I didn’t know everyone thought I was dating Blaise or that he’d publicly declare his love – ”

“No,” he interrupted. “The photo.”

Bewilderment crossed Ginny’s face. “What photo?”

Colin unfolded the paper that he held in his hand and held it up for her to see. It was the photograph that started it all. She stared at it as Draco and Crabbe replayed the drunken kiss over and over again.

“I thought you two were past this blackmail business. What happened?”

“I don’t understand,” she said slowly.

It was Colin’s turn to look confused. “You mean you didn’t do it?”

“Do what?” she said. Her impatience was beginning to show.

“This photo is all over the school right now."

Ginny’s eyes widened in panic. “Where’s Draco?”

If Colin believed she’d done it, then what would Draco think? She needed to get to him to explain, though she couldn’t even begin to fathom what she’d tell him. Ginny had no idea how the photo even got out.

“I don’t know. I haven’t seen him today.”

Ginny flew down the stairs with Colin only a few feet behind. They headed for the Great Hall where students would be gathering for lunch. Unless he already knew the photo was out, it would be the first likely place they’d find him at that hour.

She felt sick to her stomach as she passed groups of two or three who seemed to be whispering and giggling amongst themselves. Occasionally, she’d catch a glimpse of a piece a paper being passed from one to another. At the beginning of the school year the supreme humiliation of Draco Malfoy had been her entire purpose. There would have been nothing that would have brought her more satisfaction than watching him mauled by the laughter of the entire school. Now she was horrified at the thought of Draco being disgraced before his fellow classmates. The fact that she would be at fault only made her feel worse.

They approached the entrance to the Great Hall just as Draco was making an exit. He caught sight of them and paused briefly before turning to walk down the opposite hall without making an attempt to speak to her. Ginny had expected him to be furious, but the expression on his face indicated something worse. Disappointment.

“Draco!” she hollered. He stopped and turned to face her as she caught up to him. He didn’t give her a chance to even begin explaining.

“With all the rest of your antics this really shouldn’t surprise me.” His voice was cold and controlled. “I just didn’t think you’d take it this far. Potter starts getting suspicious and because you are so distressed over anyone finding out our little secret you actually try to convince him I’m gay to throw him off? Unbelievable.”

Ginny’s face contorted in confusion. “But - I -”

“I suppose it was all too easy to contrive another lie to cover up the truth. Comes naturally to you, doesn’t it?”

Her cheeks began to burn with shame. Even though she was innocent this time, she felt he deserved to be upset with her.

“How convenient that this time you even had proof to back up your story,” he continued. “The way you manipulate everything to work in your favor is truly incredible. You should have been a Slytherin. It’s no wonder that I fell in love with you.”

Ginny was about to tell him that she hadn’t betrayed him until his words made her choke on hers. Though his tone indicated he was angry, once more he admitted to loving her and it was enough to make her lose her speaking and thinking abilities all over again.

“And that, of course, is the problem, isn’t it? You don’t want to believe I love you and you did this thinking you’d convince me that I’ve made a mistake. Do you honestly think that I’m going to let you push me away with a stupid stunt like this? You’re not getting rid of me that easily,” he stated firmly. “I meant what I said yesterday.”

Ginny could only stare at him with her mouth agape as he turned and walked away. She didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t angry with her for allowing the photo to get out; he thought she was trying to break it off with him. If there was ever a time when she felt someone had cast a Confundus Charm on her, it was now.

“Do you suppose we ought to check him into St. Mungo’s psychiatric ward?” Colin asked once Draco was out of sight. “He’s completely mental.”

Ginny could only nod in agreement.

~*~*~

“Well, is your brilliant master plan working?” Blaise asked the moment Draco returned to the Slytherin common room.

“It’s too early to tell yet, but it will. I’m sure of it.”

“Are you even sure she loves you, mate? You’ve put your entire reputation at stake here.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “This from the guy who, only yesterday, declared his undying love for his boyfriend in front of the entire school. And let’s not forget how paranoid you were about coming out just the day before that. You didn’t even know Colin loved you before pulling that stunt.”

Blaise grinned sheepishly. “Well, that is one thing. But having the entire student body believe you’ve snogged Vincent Crabbe is social suicide.”

“After what I just told Ginny, she’s got to believe that she’s more important to me than my reputation. The nonsense she’s been going on about being nothing but a bloody conquest is ridiculous. I could care less if everyone thinks I’ve snogged Crabbe as long as she knows what she means to me.”

Blaise gave him a look of sympathy. He knew that Draco was madly in love with Ginny and all reason had left his mind. Blaise understood the feeling all too well.

“I’m sure she does, mate. But Ginny’s stubborn. You know that. She is a Weasley.”

“Exactly. And that’s why I haven’t exactly committed social suicide. Weasleys have a tendency toward nobility, that’s why they all end up as empty-headed Gryffindors. She’ll find a way to ensure that the truth gets out about the photo. Even if she doesn’t love me, she has strong feelings for me and wouldn’t want to see me suffering unnecessarily. Especially since she thinks it’s her fault.”

After Ginny had left him by the lake doubting her feelings for him, he’d gone back to his room to sort out his thoughts. He convinced himself that he couldn’t be wrong about how she felt, but for extra reassurance he took a look at the Dream Whisperer. He caught her awake again, but even the conscious clutter showed strong indications her mind weighed heavily on him.

He decided his best course of action was to prove his love for her once and for all.

“Her fault?” Blaise asked.

“I’ve given her the impression that I believe she’s the one who put the photo into Potter’s hands,” he replied.

“And why would you have done that?” Blaise was completely baffled at his friend’s seemingly complete lack of rationality. He understood that love did funny things to a person, but it seemed counterproductive to not only lie, but to blame one’s object of affection for a crime she didn’t commit.

“Because if she believes that I think she’s to blame and I still love her despite it, that proves I love her above everything else,” Draco said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

“How else was this supposed to work?”

Blaise stared blankly at him for a moment. As preposterous as Draco’s whole scheme appeared; there seemed to be a strange logic behind it.

“You’re sure she won’t find out that you’re behind your own social demise?”

“Why would she ever suspect me of sabotaging my own reputation? You and Oya are my only two accomplices. Oya is incapable of revealing her part in this and I trust that you understand you’re sworn to secrecy. Right?”

Blaise remained silent.

“Blaise?” he pleaded.

“All right. I won’t say a word.”

~*~*~

Shortly after Draco had removed himself from Ginny and Colin’s presence, they were graced with the company of Harry and Ron. Ginny’s miniature dragon, Oya, was hovering just above them.

“I’ve been wondering where you’ve been,” Ginny called to her pet. Oya circled around her two escorts and then placed herself in her usual position wrapped around Ginny’s wrist.

“You are bloody brilliant!” Ron announced looking positively giddy. “Why didn’t you let us in on the fun, eh? Oh, hi, Colin,” he said, surprised to see him in Ginny’s presence after the Blaise debacle. Colin nodded amusedly. “Oh, by the way, you left this in the common room.” He pulled the strap of a book bag off his shoulder and handed it over to her. Ginny recognized it as hers and everything fell into place.

“You went through my bag?” She was visibly tense at the thought of her privacy being invaded.

Sensing an impending argument, Harry stepped in to explain. “It wasn’t his fault. Oya must have been trying to carry the bag up to you, but couldn’t manage the weight. A couple of pictures of Malfoy fell out. That’s how we found it.”

“And you just decided to make copies and pass them around the school without even consulting me?”

Ginny’s frustration was clear, but Ron was perplexed by it. His brow furrowed at her discontent with their actions.

“Isn’t that what you were going to do with them?”

“Well, it was. But...” She was becoming flustered. Caught between telling one truth versus another, Ginny couldn’t decide what to do. “You could have asked me!”

“We’re giving you all the credit in this, so it’s not like everyone doesn’t know that you’re the one we should thank for Malfoy’s humiliation,” Ron said misunderstanding her agitation.

Ginny only felt worse knowing that her name was attached to Draco’s disgrace. “That’s not the point!” she growled.

“Alright, Gin. If it’ll make you feel better, we’ll let you hand out the next round. I’m pretty sure there’re a few people in the library who haven’t seen it yet.”

She glared at her brother.

“What?”

Unable to say anything more to her brother without potentially causing a row of magnificent proportions, Ginny left the scene in a huff. Walking away, she heard Ron make an exasperated groan followed by a comment about her moodiness likely being related to a monthly feminine biological issue. It took all her willpower not to turn around and deck him.

~*~*~


The Redhead's Revenge by Yazethet

Chapter 29


The Redhead's Revenge


~*~*~


Wearily, Ginny slumped against the wall inside the castle courtyard. “What am I going to do?”


Colin took a seat next to her and draped a comforting arm around her as she leaned against his shoulder. “Well, you could start by explaining just when Draco decided he was in love with you. Not that it wasn’t obvious, but I never thought Draco would be terribly forthcoming with that type of information.”


“I don’t think he meant to say it,” she explained. “It just happened to come out of his mouth at the most absurd moment.”


Colin raised his eyebrows in question.


“We were arguing.”


“How unromantic,” Colin commented. “In that case, you are completely right in putting that photograph into circulation. I’d do the same if I were in your position.”


Ginny was not amused by his facetiousness.


“Alright, I know you didn’t do it. But Draco thinks you did and the bloke still insists he’s in love with you. Though, it seems that he has a little trouble saying it under the right circumstances. Or maybe the only way Malfoys can express their love is through anger.” He gave Ginny a wry grin, which was met with a glare. “In that case you two are perfect for each other.”


“You’re being very unhelpful,” Ginny grumbled.


“Well, to be fair, Draco isn’t the only one whose reputation has been mutilated because of your outrageous need for secrecy.”


“I was going to apologize for that,” Ginny shot back with a guilty grin.


“No need. After all, I did steal your boyfriend.” Colin winked at her dismissing the entire comical incident.


“Ron was furious about that, by the way. Thankfully, he was too happy about that photo to make any attempt to take it out on you, but he swore he would hurt Blaise for breaking my heart." She rolled her eyes at her brother's over-protectiveness. "Of course, if he does anything to Blaise, I'll hex him for it. Then again, I may hex Ron anyway because he's about due one."


Colin chuckled and sighed. Then he looked at her sincerely. "What about Draco? You are going to need to do something about him. Even if he is claiming that he doesn't care that the photo is out, sooner or later he's going to become lucid again and will probably have a conniption. The whole school is talking about him and you know how much he detests being considered a joke."

"I know. The most ridiculous thing of it is, before all this photo nonsense happened today, I was going to tell Draco that..." she found she couldn't quite voice her thoughts.

"That you love him." Colin finished for her. He said it so easily that it made her feel inept for being incapable of saying the four letter word out loud.


"Only two months ago I found him to be a detestable bastard worthy of all sorts of unspeakable punishments and now I'm dating him. When I'm around him I feel like I must be insane because he makes it seem like it makes perfect sense for us to be together when I know in my head that there are plenty of reasons for us not to be."

"Oh, Gin," Colin said in an almost patronizing way. "You're thinking too hard again."

"There's just no logical reason for me to feel the way I do about him." She'd been going around in an endless circle debating her own feelings ever since Draco had admitted his. Ginny was clearly frustrated that her head and her heart were not in complete agreement. And then Colin put it very plainly and very simply.

"Love has absolutely nothing to do with logic."

 



~*~*~


“How bad is it out there?” Draco asked Blaise as he entered their room.


It was a half hour until dinner and Draco was seriously considering nicking food from the kitchens and staying in his room until the winter holiday. He had ventured out for a short time and came across a group of first years who were stupid enough to mock him in his presence. He had sent at least four students to Madam Pomfrey with the Mouth-melting hex and would probably do well not to send any more. Draco had forgotten just how much he hated to be laughed at.


“When I said it was social suicide I was being too kind,” Blaise answered. “But! There is good news.”


“Oh?” Draco asked half-heartedly.


“Instead of talking about me and Colin, everyone is talking about you and Crabbe.”


Draco glowered at his friend’s version of good news.


“I didn’t say the good news applied to you,” Blaise snickered. While he wanted to feel sympathetic toward Draco, he couldn’t deny his fellow Slytherin had brought it all upon himself. “By the way, you’ve got Goyle awfully upset with Crabbe. They’ve been arguing all day.”


“A pity, I’m sure. But, much as the image disgusts me, Crabbe and Goyle will kiss and make up soon enough. The photo is a fake and once he accepts that it will be fine,” Draco grumbled.


Blaise bit down on his lip and avoided his friend’s gaze. “Of course.”


Draco got the distinct feeling that Blaise was withholding information, but chose not to pursue the subject as there were heavier matters on his mind. When he had been feverishly devising a plan to make Ginny see her real feelings for him, he hadn't allowed himself to stop for a moment and think what would happen if he was wrong. Even when Blaise had made a weak attempt at pointing out the obvious major uncontrolled factor in his plan, that being Ginny Weasley, he failed to allow himself to focus on anything but a positive outcome. Now he was waiting. And the only thing he could do while waiting was think. He had played so many 'what if' situations in his head he was beginning to see how monumentally flawed his plot was.


Was it possible he had completely misjudged her feelings? What if she saw right through his scheming? Would she see that he was serious? What if she didn't want him to stick around? What if she really didn't love him?

 

He was beginning to drive himself mad with the possibilities. Forced with the choice of sitting in his room with his thoughts or going to the Great Hall where he would deal with the ever-grating laughter at his expense, he decided he preferred the latter.



~*~*~


The Great Hall was abuzz with conversation and laughter, much as it was every Sunday evening at dinner. Ginny entered the Hall knowing exactly what the topic of the night was and dreaded trying to consume a meal amid all the talk. Her appetite further deteriorated when she walked past Ron as he told a bench load of third years that he’d known Draco was a ponce from the very beginning.


“Oh, you did not,” she said irritably, disbelieving what she was hearing.


“Did so,” he replied, barely glancing at her as she passed. Then he returned his attention to his listeners. “I always thought Goyle was more his type though.”


He laughed heartily with his audience. It grated on Ginny’s final nerve. She’d kept herself in check all day while trying to find a reasonable solution to the Draco dilemma and she was beyond weary of all the malicious jabs at her boyfriend. She suddenly understood why Draco had hexed his entire Quidditch team on her behalf.


“Shut it, Ron,” she warned.


“Aw, Gin, I’m just having a little fun.” This time Ron saw a spark of her temper in her eyes and didn’t dismiss her presence so easily. “Alright, I know that you’re still upset over Blaise mooning over Colin and I’ll take care of him as soon as I spot the poofter. Okay? Just quit being so bloody moody.”


 

“First of all, Ronald, I will be moody if I damned well please. And,” Ginny stood bracing her arms against the table and grit out the rest of her tirade, "if you try to blame it on a monthly cycle while I’m still within hearing distance again you’ll find your share of the infamous Weasley reproductive abilities missing. Second of all, if you do anything to Blaise you’ll find yourself at the wrong end of a Bat-bogey hex and third of all, you wouldn’t know someone was gay even if he bit your todger off.”


As they started arguing, a silence rippled through the Great Hall. It seemed everyone wanted to listen in on the verbal duel between siblings. Draco was grateful to enter the Great Hall unnoticed.


Ron stared at his sister feeling dumbfounded for a moment before his own temper kicked into high gear. “As if you were so well informed on how to spot a woofter in a ten foot radius! You’re the one who has two gay ex-boyfriends.”


“Who are now dating each other,” added someone from the Slytherin table. “Coincidence? I think not!” Laughter erupted in Great Hall.


Ginny set her jaw and glared in the general vicinity of the Slytherin section. She would have seriously considered throwing a jinx at the entire table if it weren’t for the fact that she would have easily been caught. She still hadn’t spotted Draco, who had chosen to keep a distance from his house mates for the time being.


“That must mean Longbottom and Corner are secret lovers,” shouted someone from the Hufflepuff table followed by another round of laughter.


“Hey, I resent that!” Michael Corner grumbled loud enough for those surrounding him to hear.


“Me too!” added Neville.


Ginny’s jaw dropped at the suggestion that two more of her ex-boyfriends had been lumped into the category of likely-to-be-gay. Her fury with her brother for bringing it up only intensified with the open dialogue of her dating history.


“She probably slept with Crabbe and Malfoy, too.” Pansy Parkinson stood up and sneered openly at the redhead. “She’s taking out the male Slytherin population one at a time. Better watch out, boys, or you’ll be next,” she said glancing around her house table with a fierce look of warning.


Draco noticed the red tint of anger in Ginny’s complexion grow deeper with each comment. He’d never realized how brutal the gossip chain could be. He had expected his character to be questioned, but only yesterday Ginny had been considered a victim in it all.


“My sister would never date, let alone sleep with anyone as filthy as Malfoy!” Ron yelled, wholly disgusted by the idea. “If anyone has questionable bed partners, you’d better look in the mirror that you probably have mounted above your bed, Parkinson!”


While her brother’s remark about Pansy was almost redeeming, he had just completely insulted her boyfriend and her taste in men. It was the last straw.


“Don’t tell me you believe you’re sweet little sister is that innocent,” Pansy fired back.


“Enough!” Ginny yelled as she climbed onto the Ravenclaw table. A few faculty members had wandered in during the school discussion, but none seemed to be willing to do anything to stop it. Ginny had seen Dumbledore gesture subtly to the professors in attendance indicating they should allow the scene to play out. She sensed it was her job to end it and took it upon herself to do so.


The Hall quieted in response to Ginny’s exasperated cry and dutifully turned their attention to her.


“Obviously, there are some major misconceptions about my personal life, which need to be cleared up,” she snapped. “But since we’re all so open to publicly discussing relationships and the like, let’s make sure we’re all up to speed on the latest school gossip, shall we?” Ginny felt justifiably vindictive. “As far as I’m aware, Pansy Parkinson has slept with everyone in Slytherin and she secretly enjoys being lusted after by Millicent Bulstrode.”


“That is entirely untrue!” Pansy screamed out indignantly. Millicent grinned mischievously.


“Seamus is dating Parvati in hopes of talking her and her sister into a threesome,” Ginny continued.


Parvati elbowed her boyfriend in the gut and crossed her arms in a gesture that clearly showed she was not happy with him.


“I never said that!” Seamus squeaked in pain.


“There’s also the Hufflepuff seventh year girls who have traded certain favors with a select group of Ravenclaw boys in order to get the answers for their NEWT level classes.”


Instantly a wave of angry chatter rose from the Hufflepuff table insisting that Ginny’s statement was false.


She raised her voice to talk over them. “I’ve also heard Marietta Edgecombe is known to cause impotency. And that Zacharias Smith pretends he’s a virgin to get girls to sleep with him.”


Ginny listed every rumor she’d ever heard until there was barely a soul left in the Great Hall who hadn't been connected in one way or another as the subject of some horrendous piece of gossip. The crowd grew quieter with every rumor that Ginny brought to public attention as so very few of them could claim innocence in the offense of circulating bad information.


When she was finished with her rant, she noted the subdued faces of her schoolmates. She had single-handedly managed to make everyone in the room feel wretched. Her pathetic need for revenge had been taken too far this time.


She spoke again, her tone gentler and full of regret. "Look, I... I can't claim to be any less innocent than everyone else here. It would seem that we are all equally terrible and probably need to take greater care in what we say about people. Obviously, not everything that you hear is true..." she trailed off.


Ginny lowered her eyes to the floor feeling full of shame for unleashing her temper, however warranted it may have been, toward her classmates. As her eyes caught sight of one of the discarded Malfoy/Crabbe photos, she felt the need to atone for her behavior.


"In fact," she continued, "I think it's time that some things are set straight."


She noted a minor adjustment in the tension she had felt in the room.

"I'd like to start by saying that, charming as he is, I have never dated Blaise Zabini; therefore he's never actually cheated on or left me. Colin Creevey is the only ex-boyfriend of mine who is gay," she said, then glanced over to Michael Corner and added, "As far as I'm aware, anyway." She couldn't help the small smirk that crossed her lips as Michael glared at her in disbelief.

 

Flicking her wand at one of the Malfoy/Crabbe photos, she retrieved it from the bench below and then looked to Harry almost apologetically. But as she moved her gaze to her brother, Ron, she felt a renewed sense of confidence in what she was about to say. Ron had crossed her one too many times that day and she would be lying if she didn't admit that she was a little glad he was going to be disappointed if not downright depressed about her next comment.

Ginny flipped the photo around in order for everyone to see. "This photograph is a hoax. Colin and I created it as a joke and it got out of hand. I... I never meant..." Her voice caught in her throat as her emotions suddenly got the better of her. The reality of her mistakes came crashing down on her like a ton of bricks. She paused for a moment in order to regain her composure. "I never meant for anyone to get hurt by my actions. So I'd like to publicly and sincerely apologize to both Vincent Crabbe and Draco Malfoy for any... any distress that I have caused." As she spoke, she ignored the scowls of disappointment and focused on scanning the crowd for the two intended recipients of her apology. Though she could not find Draco in the sea of faces, she did note Crabbe had provided her with what appeared to be a forgiving smile as Goyle smothered him in a relieved embrace. There was no denying that Crabbe and Goyle belonged together and she was happy (yet slightly revolted) that she was able to bring them back to each other.

Feeling oddly inspired, Ginny decided that the very next thing she was going to do was find Draco and tell him what a stubborn idiot she was being. She was going to ask him to forgive her stupidity and cowardice and do anything she could to make him see she was fully committed to their relationship, despite the secrecy that insured his life. As she moved to do just that, Ron decided to express his dismay.

"Aww, Gin, why did you have to go an ruin all the fun? It was only Malfoy, after all."

Ginny jerked her head toward him and provided a look that was so dangerous, Ron took a full step back in an attempt to avoid the full effect of the anger projected through her eyes. He immediately regretted opening his mouth and was so sure he was about to be hexed he reached for his wand and nervously prepared to defend himself. He'd seen the look before and the results never bode well for her target.

There were many levels of Ginny's temper that Ron had been subjected to, including the level where she felt it necessary to use her wand, but that was rare and she had to be angry beyond words in order to reach that level. He discovered there was a level above hexing anger. She never pulled her wand, but Ron would have preferred to have suffered one of her spider hexes over what she decided to do instead.

As she was staring her brother down, Ginny caught sight of a familiar flash of platinum blond as Draco made his way to the front row of the gathering of students. Breaking her focus from her brother, she stepped down from the table, grabbed the blond by his Slytherin green tie and pulled him to the spot she had previously been using as her soapbox. Draco had been too stunned to make any attempt at resisting and simply allowed her to position him next to her. Noting Ginny's new companion on the tabletop, the student body quieted their chatter and began whispering rampantly amongst themselves.

"In case anyone is requiring proof above my word that the photographs fake, I'd like to submit to you another piece of evidence that shows Draco is not gay." She shot a burning look directly at her brother while stressing the word not as if she were trying to ingrain it permanently into his brain that he was never to refer to Draco Malfoy as a woofter, ponce, or nancy-boy ever again and to ensure that Ron got a clear picture, Ginny turned to Draco and kissed him fully on the lips.

Getting the point immediately, Ron averted his eyes and kept his mouth shut in order to prevent himself from spewing all over the floor.

Draco, on the other hand, took complete advantage of the situation and did not allow Ginny to pull away as quickly as she had initially intended. He wrapped his arms around her and soaked in every delicious moment of their public snogging. He took great pleasure in the echoing gasps of shock from their audience and was almost tempted to allow his hands to roam toward her bum to give it a quick squeeze in order to get an even better shocked reaction from the crowd, however, Draco thought it in his best interest to behave himself for the moment. He released his girlfriend and graced the audience with his trademark smirk.

Ginny grinned contentedly to herself as she stepped down from the table leaving her boyfriend behind to briefly be revered by his fellow Slytherin for his moment of glory. She left the Great Hall just as Pansy took center stage for herself in an attempt to follow Ginny's example in dispelling the rumors that were going around about her. Since everyone was still talking about the kiss they had all just witnessed, it seemed that Pansy's efforts would be in vain.

~*~*~

 

"This is getting ridiculous!" Blaise threw his hands up in frustration as he made his usual dramatic entrance into the Tower. He'd just returned from his last detention he'd earned from the scene he'd made at the Quidditch match.


Colin looked up from his homework and grinned. Blaise had made the same complaint every day since the match, but it still amused him every time so he allowed his boyfriend to vent yet again.

"Was it not clear when I expressed my feelings for you in front of the whole bloody school? Did I appear to be at all ambiguous about it?" Honestly." He sat in a huff next to Colin, furrowing his brows and crossing his arms. "This being outed business isn't quite what I expected."

"It never really is," Colin sympathized.

"I had prepared myself to be potentially ostracized. But this!" he shook his head. "You could have warned me, you know."

Colin snickered. "Had I known you were going to out yourself, I certainly would have tried."

"Do you have any idea how many times I've had to tell Ambrosia Amontu, not to mention hordes of other girls, that I am sure that I am gay and that there is nothing - not a spell, a potion, or a romp in the sack with the 'right' girl - is going to change it!" He gave an exasperated sigh. "All Draco had to do was kiss Ginny once in the middle of the Great Hall during dinner and no one questions his sexual orientation anymore."

"I take it you haven't heard any of the wild speculations going around that Ginny is the ringleader of an underground group of gay prostitutes and Draco is her main client."

"Really? I hadn't heard that one yet."

"Well, the only one who's said it so far is Pansy Parkinson to a few firsties in the library, and it's very much likely they're too afraid of Draco to consider repeating it, but I found it fairly amusing. Can you believe Ginny is still not fessing up to being Draco's girlfriend?"

Blaise finally cracked a grin. "After detention yesterday, someone came up to her and asked her directly about it. All she did was give one of her evil little impish smirks and then shrugged leaving them to figure out what it meant. She's a piece of work, that one. After all that drivel in the Great Hall about getting the truth out and setting things straight, she's sure propagating more than her share of new rumors. It's driving Draco mad."

 

"That's nothing new," Colin snorted. He'd known almost since the very beginning that the two were meant for each other. "Of course, she isn't outright denying it either. I think she's having too much fun being dubious about the whole thing."


"Not to mention it must be so much easier to say nothing than to have to come up with an explanation," Blaise added. "Do you suppose that would work for me? If I just stopped talking and let everyone else talk about it amongst themselves?"


Colin closed his books and leered at his companion. "I think it might. Talking is overrated anyway."


"Indeed." Blaise caught the subtle hint and gave Colin a simpering look as he leaned in to show him exactly how overrated talk was.


~*~*~

 

Ginny found herself to be perfectly content with her new rule of saying little to nothing when it came to the subject of Draco Malfoy. Saying nothing and leaving everyone to their own devices had made life considerably less complicated. After the incident in the Great Hall, Draco seemed to be convinced that all was well and didn't appear to hold any grudge against her for the photo leak. In fact, for the most part, Draco never really broached the subject again.


Ron never brought it up again either, though Ginny was sure it was for an entirely different reason. Hermione thought it had been a noble effort to put a stop to all the rumors being circulated about the castle, and though she felt Ginny's method had been a little extreme, she believed that it brought awareness to the students and that was what mattered. Hermione didn't say anything about Ginny's kiss with Draco, but that was likely for Ron's benefit.


The only one of her friends that asked about Draco had been Harry. He brought it up during an evening where they were the last two studying in the common room.

 

"Hmmmm?" She hadn't quite heard Harry's question as she'd been focused on studying for her Potions OWL.

"I said that you are dating him, aren't you?" It wasn't really a question.

"I kissed him in front of everyone on a whim. I only did it to get to Ron." It was the truth. Mostly, anyway. And at the same time it was a well rehearsed answer that she gave anyone who was insistent on getting her to talk.

"I know that," he said, a little annoyed that she was feeding him the line. "If you don't want to tell me, that's fine. I'm just saying that I'm pretty sure that you are."

"Wait. What?" She was surprised that he was being so bold.

Harry ran his hand through his unruly hair and readjusted his glasses. "It's okay with me," he said, and then quickly added, "Not that you need my assurance. But I'm just saying that I've been trying not to harp on about Malfoy so much in front of you. And even if he's not exactly worthy of you, I'm pretty sure that you see something decent in him, otherwise he'd be up in the hospital wing getting treated for all the different hexes you'd put on him."

Ginny smiled. It was one of the sweetest things Harry had ever said to her. And still she had a hard time outright confessing to him. "So, what really makes you think that I'm dating him?

"Well, aside from the fact that he's made it fairly clear that he's obsessed with you and you have no issue with it, you're wearing his ring on that chain around your neck."

She instinctively reached up to where it usually laid against her chest and found that it was still carefully tucked beneath her robes as it almost always was.

"I've seen it a couple times during Quidditch practice. Don't worry, Ron wouldn't ever notice something like that. In fact, when you really don't want to see something, it's pretty easy to be blind about it. I think he's actually managed to block out the whole incident in the Great Hall. But it's still instinct for him not to say a word about Malfoy because he knows something bad would happen if he did. You managed him quite well on that front," he said, smiling.

Ginny couldn't stop herself from giggling.

~*~*~


Draco was quite proud of himself for orchestrating one of his greatest ploys ever. Less than twelve hours after he had practically obliterated his own image, he was back on top of the world again and being revered as the Slytherin god. He didn't deserve much of the credit since it wasn't exactly his manipulative prowess that cleared his name, that was entirely Ginny's doing. He'd realized later that he could very well have suffered a great deal longer had it not been for a series of coincidences that happened in his favor. Nevertheless, he wasn't one to deny himself a pat on the back.

Still, his main goal had never been about maintaining his reputation. It had all been about Ginny. She had kissed him in front of the entire school and he truly believed that it was a clear indication of his relationship with her and that she had purposely made it public knowledge. He reveled in his moment of glory and didn't even mind getting detention for it. However, Ginny had pointed out that she never made any announcement regarding the status of their relationship and anything that people said after the incident was purely based on assumption. She laughed at his indignant reaction when he insisted that people were making the correct assumption.

"So what are you going to do if I just go around telling everyone we're a couple?" he asked.

"Then you'll ruin the fun and I'll start having to deny it," she said, smirking playfully.

"I can't ever win with you, can I?"

 

"You're catching on now," she said. "Though, you really must count yourself lucky."

"I already do," he said with partial sincerity. Ginny laughed.

"What I mean is, I must really love you."

Draco grew serious for a moment. She had finally validated her feelings and for a moment he had no idea how to respond. Part of him wanted to jump around screaming 'I knew it!' and the other part want to take her in his arms and kiss her long and deep because saying it in return didn't quite seem enough at this point. Looking into her eyes, though, it seemed that he didn't really need to say anything to solidify her feelings for him. He smiled one of his rare, genuine smiles.

"And why must you really, really love me?"

"I lied to practically everyone I know in order to save your precious reputation."

Draco was bewildered. "What are you talking about?"

Her eyes twinkled with mischievousness. "If I could fabricate a photo that easily, do you think I would have waited this long to do it?"

Draco's face contorted in disgusted shock. "There is ... there is no way I would have..."

"I suppose you can go on believing that.” Ginny shrugged. “And if you continue to be a good boy and not try to convince anyone that I'm your secret girlfriend, then I'll never mention it again. I won't even be mad at you for letting all the Slytherin believe that you manipulated me into saving your arse."

Mystified by the beguiling red-headed witch before him, Draco found that he could do nothing but appreciate her devious ways. Even though he couldn't quite bring himself to believe that she was possibly telling the truth about the photo, he felt the need to lose the memory of her mere mention of it. He would begin by replacing the thought with a more pleasant thought. One that involved his lips on hers in a broom closet, where no one was likely to find them.


THE END

~*~

End Notes:

First of all, many, many, many thanks to my beta Nyghtinggail who saved my sanity by volunteering to beta the last half of this for me. She had loads of wonderful suggestions and provided me with plenty of entertainment and encouragement with her comments throughout the beta process. I can't say it enough, Nyghtinggail. You Rock!

Anyway, I'd like to think that if you made it this far, then you found some amount of entertainment in reading my fic, but if not, feel free to let me know what made you force yourself to read it anyway ;) Thanks so much for reading and any feedback you want to leave would be much appreciated!
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