Ginny Weasley sat in her usual seat in the Great Hall, slowly picking through her porridge. She took one last look at the mushy grains in front of her and sighed deeply. Pushing her bowl away in the process, she stood up and walked quietly through the finely carved double doors to the Entrance Hall. Ever since Harry had broken it off with her, she’d lost most of her appetite and even her school grades had suffered considerably. “Stupid git,” she mumbled to herself as she started up the Grand Staircase. How silly though, giving her some feeble, heroic excuse about He-who-must-not-be-named and danger and all that crap. ‘His loss,’ Ginny grumbled in her mind.
Ginny wheeled around to see Professor Snape, winner of ‘the world’s foulest teacher of all time’ for 6 years running, was standing in the entrance to the dungeons.
“Yes, Professor?” Ginny put on a false tone of sweetness as she descended back down the stairs to stand in front of Snape.
“Your essay on aconite was due yesterday,” he said, his voice echoing strings of deadly seriousness. Although Professor Snape was at least a head taller than her, and a former Death Eater, Ginny wasn’t particularly afraid of him. She swore in her head.
“I forgot,” she mumbled to her shoes.
Snape swooped down so he was barely an inch from Ginny. His voice was barely audible over the din of students chatting and going to breakfast, but it resonated icy syllables that threatened pain with each word.
“Well, maybe a week's worth of detentions will help you remember simple things like home.." but Snape didn’t have time to finish his threat because a sharp drawl cut across him.
“Professor, if you don’t mind, I’d like to experience my new found Head Boy privileges in practice. Let me deal with the amnesiac Weasel,” sneered none other than Draco Malfoy himself. Snape eyed Malfoy with a calculating eye before saying, “Make sure she gets what she deserves”. He leered at Ginny before sweeping away down to the dungeons, his black robes billowing behind him.
Ginny felt her face go hot with rage. Malfoy was going to pull out the big guns, she could feel it. What’s the betting he made her clean the Owlery for a month? Or worse still, help Madam Pomfrey with some less desirable tasks that the matron would rather not do.
Malfoy leaned in close to her ear and she was counting on his voice to come out in a malicious hiss, much the same way Snape had just spoken to her.
“Consider yourself lucky, baby Weasel. Go back to your Gryffindor cubbyhouse and don’t speak of this to anyone. If Snape asks, I’m getting you to clean the Slytherin Common Room for a week. Now get out of my sight,” and then he turned around and followed Snape’s path to the dungeons.
Ginny stood shocked for several minutes before she shook herself out of it and ran back to the Gryffindor Common Room, taking the stairs two at a time. There, she sank into her favourite cushy brown armchair in the corner of the room. Draco Malfoy being nice? It wasn’t possible. She briefly considered that maybe it was Harry or Ron using polyjuice potion? No, if it was them, they would have told her, and Malfoy still sounded his usual arrogant self, even if he did do something nice for her… But Malfoy being nice, in particular to a Gryffindor, and a Weasley no less? It was shocking as He-who-must-not-be-named dancing naked down the street singing about flowers and butterflies and throwing out lollies to all the wee kiddies!
Ginny giggled at the thought of He-who-must-not-be-named showing uncharacteristic celebrations of Nature. But she’d had enough of thinking about Malfoy and his out-of-the-ordinary behaviour, and she dove into her bag to retrieve her astronomy homework.
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