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.
“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.
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