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.


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