“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?”
“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.
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