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.


“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.
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