Upon returning to the common room, Ginny was disappointed that Colin was nowhere in sight. She felt terrible about the argument they'd had earlier and wanted to apologize. She would have gone to his room, however, it was late and she was exhausted. It had been a long day and she hoped that a good night’s rest would improve her mood.
Once she finally crawled into bed she found that sleep did not come as easily as she had hoped. Guilt plagued her. Her irrationality toward Colin was only because Malfoy had made her paranoid. First thing in the morning she was going to straighten things out with Colin.
Ginny's mind began to wander back to the empty classroom that afternoon. The last thing she had expected was that kiss. She should have listened to Hermione. She had told her to be careful around Malfoy, but she had felt sure that Malfoy wouldn’t dare try anything. Obviously, she had underestimated him.
She was going to have to find some way to get back at him.
Her determination to become a Beater had increased tenfold simply so she could have a valid excuse to cause him bodily harm. She just hoped she would get the opportunity to send a Bludger directly at his face and permanently remove that damned smirk of his! Though, it would be a terrible waste. He did have some nice features. But that was beside the point. He was an excruciatingly arrogant Slytherin and she didn’t care how good-looking he was. Or how good of a kisser he was. Not that she really thought about it. Much.
She groaned and buried her face in her pillow. There was no plausible explanation for it. No reason that she should be thinking about him. Or the kiss. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t been kissed before.
There was Colin, who had kissed her during second year before he had come out of the closet, but that had been disastrous. Thankfully, they were able to get past that whole incident and became best friends. Then there was Neville, though she really didn’t think a nervous peck on the lips could really be considered much of a kiss to compare anything to. And Michael was a little sloppy to be honest. It was as if he didn’t quite know what to do with his tongue. Then there was Dean who hadn’t been that bad, but they had really only kissed once before deciding to call it quits over the summer. She wasn’t all that sorry about it. She knew he had a thing for Lavender and when she started showing interest Ginny felt it best to let him go. She hadn’t felt much of a connection with him anyway.
That was about the extent of her experience. She was beginning to wonder what was so wonderful about snogging because all of her attempts at it seemed lacking in one way or another.
And then there was the kiss with Malfoy.
Gods, it was no wonder that she couldn’t stop thinking about it. There had been a serious lack of skill with all her prior experiences. Malfoy had probably already snogged half of Hogwart’s female population. He was probably well versed in making girls swoon over his kisses. Surely, that would explain why she had felt like he had taken her breath away with one ridiculous kiss.
“Colin, wait up!” Ginny had woken up slightly late that morning after having a bad night’s sleep, but she was determined to apologize to her best friend for her behavior. He had just gone through the portrait and was on his way to breakfast. She rushed across the common room and through the portrait to catch up with him. On the other side she found Colin waiting, his arms folded across his chest. He was still upset with her.
“Colin, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lash out at you like that last night. I was just so upset about what Malfoy had done and I know I had no right to say anything about Zabini -”
“Gin, it’s okay,” he said as his expression softened. “I wasn’t being entirely supportive either, I suppose. I know it seems like I barely know Blaise, but we really had a good talk yesterday. I really don’t think he had any idea what Malfoy was up to. It’s just that Blaise asked me out this weekend and well, you were kind of ruining it for me.”
“I know. I really am sorry, Colin,” she said sincerely.
“Well, then. Shall we have some breakfast? You know, I love my brother, but it’s just not the same eating with him and his friends. I think meals would get rather boring if I had to dine with him every day.” He grinned at her indicating that their argument was over. They could never stay mad at each other for very long.
Draco was perplexed. He'd never actually had to try to get a girl to like him before. Usually all he had to do was turn on the Malfoy charm and girls would be giggling happily at the fact that he had even taken the time to speak with them.
Ginny was a different matter.
For years he had made it clear that he thought all Weasleys were detestable. She had made it obvious that she did not like him. In fact, this year she made it her personal business to try to make his life miserable. So why was he even bothering?
He sat at breakfast staring at her from across the Great Hall. He was barely touching his food. He hardly noticed when Blaise sat down across from him.
Blaise said nothing for a while. He just studied the puzzled expression on Draco’s face and then followed his gaze to the redhead across the room. He gave Draco a look of confusion, which the blond didn’t even acknowledge. His eyes seemed to be glued to his target.
Blaise cleared his throat. “I spoke to Colin yesterday. He gave me some good tips on photo development spells. I can develop those photos you took yesterday for you, if you’d like.”
“Hmm?” Draco muttered, his gaze still fixed on Ginny. Blaise looked across the room and saw that Ginny was oblivious to the fact that she was being gawked at. He looked back at Draco with an amused smile.
“Would you like me to take a picture for you? It would be safer, you know. The picture wouldn’t want to claw your eyes out if it found you staring at it.”
“What are you going on about?” Draco had only caught the last part of what he had said. His perplexed look was replaced by an annoyed frown. “I’m not staring.”
“Of course not,” Blaise said clearly amused. “I just wanted to know if you wanted me to develop those photos you took with my camera yesterday.”
“Oh. Sure,” he said distracted again. Then realizing what photos Blaise was speaking about he changed his mind. “Never mind, I think I’d prefer to develop them myself.”
Draco returned his focus to Blaise.
“So, how did it go with Creevey yesterday?” Not that he really wanted to know the particulars, but Creevey was apparently Ginny’s best friend and that was a start.
Blaise gave him an odd look, but he decided to go ahead and tell him about Colin. He was dying to tell someone and Draco was the only other person who really knew about him. “Well, we have a lot in common, actually. And he’s the most optimistic person I know. He’s got a great sense of humor. And the most beautiful blue eyes,” he said dreamily. Draco suddenly felt uncomfortable. He was still getting used to the idea that his friend was gay. Blaise sensed this and turned the subject back to Colin’s sense of humor.
“He had me laughing a good part of free period yesterday,” he smiled. “He was telling me about what Weasley had done,” he began and then stopped, not sure he should continue.
Draco gave him a look of suspicion. “What did Gi- uh, Weasley do?” He tried not to look too interested. He hoped that Creevey hadn’t said anything about the picture of Crabbe, but he also didn’t want to seem too anxious about wanting to know more about Ginny. He had admitted to himself that he liked her, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to admit it to anyone else. Unfortunately, it appeared that Blaise seemed to pick up that something was definitely going on. He was giving him an amused smile again.
“I’m not sure I should tell you,” he said chortling slightly. But the look of panic on Draco’ s face made him change his mind. “Well, if you really want to know, I’ll tell you. But you’d better not kill Weasley. Colin thinks very highly of her and I’d hate for him to have any reason to hate me.”
“Fine,” Draco agreed readily.
“Remember the potion that she dumped on you during her detention?”
“What about it?”
“Do you recall the ingredients used in that potion that she was supposed to be making?
“It was the Draught of Peace, of course I know what ingredients are involved in creating it.” Draco was becoming impatient.
“Do you also recall another potion, made with the very same ingredients? The one we came across in that book, Potions of Perversions?”
Draco thought for a moment. They had flipped through it for a good laugh during fourth year. There were instructions on how to make aphrodisiacs and endurance potions, along with some concoctions that caused various interesting bodily reactions. Then he remembered that there was one that they had thought would have been funny to make and dump on Marcus Flint just before he went out on his date with some sixth year Hufflepuff. They called it the Deflation Creation because they couldn’t pronounce the actual name of the potion, and he was almost positive it required most of the same ingredients required for the Draught of Peace.
“She didn’t,” he said in disbelief.
Blaise was laughing at him now. “I’m sorry, mate, but she did. Or so Colin told me. I guess you would be the one to know for sure. I swear I won’t tell anyone though,” he said still laughing.
“You’d better not,” Draco said in an attempt at anger, though he was starting to laugh along with his friend. Again, he should have been furious with her, but he was so relieved that it was just a potion had been the cause of his problem that day.
“I can’t believe your laughing about this. I thought you’d be furious!”
“I should be,” he sighed. He didn’t explain himself any further. “Did you know she’s going to be in our Advanced Potions class? If she was able to concoct that potion on a whim it’s no wonder she’s skipping fifth year potions.”
Blaise detected the hint of admiration in his voice, but chose not to point it out. Draco still kept glancing in her direction until the bell rang indicating breakfast was over.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning and Ginny was in the mood to fly. She grabbed the Cleansweep and headed out to the pitch. It was early and it was a weekend so she had the whole arena to herself.
She ran through some of the drills the twins had taught her over the summer and then just worked on various maneuvers on the broom. Her broom wasn't the best so she had to learn to compensate where the equipment was lacking. She practiced figure eights over and over to see if she could tighten her turn radius a bit. Then she practiced diving. She was nowhere near as good as Harry, but she was quite pleased with her own ability, especially on an older model Cleansweep. The tryouts would be Friday and she felt that if she could get out the pitch a couple more times during the week she would be able to make the team.
Ginny became aware that Malfoy was watching her from below just as she was finishing up. She now wished that she had taken the Bludgers out to practice. He would have made a great target. Touching down, she dismounted her broom and glared at him.
“Not bad, Weasley,” he said casually.
“What the hell are you doing here, Malfoy,” she returned venomously. She couldn’t believe she had heard a semi-compliment come out of his mouth with her name attached. She was waiting for the insult.
“I believe the pitch is available to anyone prior to tryouts. I have as much right to be out here on a beautiful Saturday morning as you do.”
“Have at it. I was just leaving,” she said as she turned to leave.
“How about a little one-on-one?” he asked before she took another step. She stopped.
She had two choices. She could either decline and have him call her a coward or she could accept and have the possible pleasure of knocking him off his broom onto his arse. She turned around.
“And how do you propose we play?” She eyed him curiously.
“What position are you trying out for?”
“Alright. We’ll release a Bludger and the Snitch. If you manage to get the Bludger to knock me off my broom before I catch the Snitch, you win. If I catch the Snitch first, I win.”
“Perfect,” Ginny replied. “Prepare to lose, Malfoy.”
“That confident in your abilities, are you? Care to wager on it?” he smiled deviously.
Ginny wasn’t that sure about her abilities. Malfoy had been Seeker for his team since his second year. He had experience and Ginny knew that despite losing to Harry again and again, Malfoy was actually rather good. He also had a Nimbus 2001, which was not quite a Firebolt, but was a far better broom than her own. She wasn’t sure her skill as a Beater matched his as a Seeker.
“You have a picture that I want you to make disappear -” Draco started.
“As if I’d let that masterpiece vanish into thin air,” Ginny interjected smugly. Then she realized that could have been her chance to rid herself of photo that Malfoy had on her. Before she could retract her comment he had already come up with a new idea.
“Alright then,” he was smiling again. He didn’t even make an attempt at an argument. Ginny wasn’t sure his next suggestion would be any better. “If you win I will give you my broom.”
Ginny wasn’t sure she heard him correctly. “Your broom? As in the Nimbus 2001 that you are currently holding in your hand?”
Ginny’s eyes narrowed. “And what if you win?”
Draco thought for a moment. He was surprised that she had automatically nixed the idea of getting rid of the incriminating photos. As nice as it would have been to not have to worry about the photo he found that a much more interesting wager could be made. He wondered if he even dared. He really had no idea how good she actually was so it was probably best that he had come up with this new idea. If he did lose the broom wouldn’t be difficult to replace. He’d simply ask his mother to order him a new one, which he was meaning to do anyway. But if he won...he smiled.
“If I win, you have to spend the first Hogsmead weekend with me.”
“What?” she said incredulously. His Nimbus 2001 against her spending a day with him in Hogsmead. It was preposterous. A new broom would be nice. A Nimbus 2001 was too good to be true. But the possibility of spending the day with Malfoy? Was it worth that? Why would he even ask?
“You are probably getting the better end of the deal. Either way you win, you see. You’d get a new broom or you get to spend time in my illustrious presence,” he said with an air of conceit. It made Ginny’s blood boil.
He probably just wanted to make sure his story was believable if he did ever let that photo of them kissing surface. Then again, he might spend the whole day trying to find new ways of humiliating her. Why else would he allow himself to be in the presence of a Weasley?
“Well?” he asked patiently waiting for her answer. She knew she should have just walked away. But, a new broom would be nice. And if she lost then Malfoy had another thing coming to him. She would make sure he would be the one suffering through the Hogsmeade visit.
“You’re on,” she said as she mounted her broom.
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