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.

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