Author’s Note: You guys are getting this chapter a little sooner than expected because I’m leaving town today. This is the shortest chapter and tomorrow will be the longest. Expect part three sometime tomorrow. Enjoy!

Part 2: The Confrontation

Draco said nothing as Ginny stared down at him questioningly. He felt red in the face, embarrassed by the images he’d been visualizing before he fell, but the humiliation quickly turned to callousness as he got to his feet.

“What did you think, Weasley? That the Slytherins were going to trust you’d stay in this house all night by yourself on nothing but a dare?” He spat the words out as though she was nothing but the dust beneath his feet. “We don’t trust your Muggle-loving filth as far as we could throw you.”

Draco felt his backbone begin to crumble as soon as the words left his mouth. He didn’t want to speak to her in this way and felt a pain in his chest the moment he saw her bottom lip tremble ever so slightly. He wanted nothing more than to apologize to her. All within a split second, Draco imagined taking her soft hands and pulling her into his chest. However, the thought didn’t last for long as Ginny’s words fell on him like a ton of bricks.

“You’re such a spoiled little prat, Malfoy. You care nothing for others or their feelings and you’ll never be fit to love anyone but yourself. This is all a game to you, isn’t it? I came up here tonight because my housemates mean something to me. I foolishly let one of your conniving, little Slytherin friends into our common room and I mean to get that lion back. If you think I’m here because of some kind of dare you’re wrong! I’m here because of them. Because of all the other Gryffindors I let down. And that’s something you’ll never be able to identify with as long as your feet touch this earth. So you can stop stalking me, and cast aside any attempts you might have for trying to scare me out because you won’t. I’m keeping up my end of the deal, Malfoy, and nothing is going to drive me from this house tonight.”

Draco felt a sting he’d never felt before spread from his cheeks to the tips of his toes. He truly didn’t know how to react and to be honest…she’d made him feel worse than he ever remembered feeling. He didn’t have time to collect his thoughts before Draco heard himself speaking aloud.

“Look, I came up here so that you’d be spared, alright?”

Ginny blinked once, turned her head to the side with a dumbfounded expression and could only muster a very blunt “Huh?”

“The other Slytherins…they had plans for you. I don’t give a rat’s ass about your stupid lion, Weasley, I just…figured they might do something to hurt you and I honestly didn’t want that.”

Draco shut his mouth before he could say anything more and let the mental beatings begin. “Oh. My. God! Draco, what are you saying to her?”

Ginny jerked her head back a good inch and a half in disbelief as she was obviously searching for the words to respond. “So let me get this straight. You came here to…protect me?”

He could feel his eyes narrowing as a twinge of anger formed near the corners. “Don’t go flattering yourself, Weasley, and perceiving it the wrong way. I just know how capable some of the others are at taking advantage of…females, is all.”

Ginny’s expression had gone from confused, to somewhat smug, and then it was completely unreadable to Draco. He stood staring at her, unable to say another word…waiting for her to break through the sound of the wind tearing at the walls of the Shack.


Ginny was afraid to move. It was as though she’d entered some bizarre dream, unable to wake from it, yet not really sure that she wanted to. Malfoy’s news at trying to protect her had run Ginny down like a herd of stampeding hippogriffs. She felt oddly comforted by this gesture, and the stare of those steely gray eyes only added to the melting sensation she now felt in her stomach. There was a tiny piece of her that was actually happy to see him.

Draco broke his gaze with Ginny and stared down at his feet, apparently searching for the words to break this silence between them. She was just about to do it for him when, at that precise moment, one of the shutters on the windows was ripped from the house in the torrent of winds causing both Draco and Ginny to step toward one another in alarm. Whatever it was that Ginny was about to say flew from her brain and it felt like an eternity before either of them spoke.

“It’s windy out,” was all that Draco could muster.

Ginny nodded her head, wanting so badly to still be mad at him, but unable to be in the face of what he’d said. “I hadn’t realized it so much since I took the tunnel.” He was holding her gaze and Ginny diverted her eyes to avoid revealing the heated sensation she felt by standing too close to him.

“Get a grip, Ginny,” she thought. “You can’t stand the boy and it’s nothing more than those beautiful gray eyes he has.”

She was just about to say something else when Draco took a step back, clearly flustered from the entire incident.

“Look, Weasley, you don’t have to worry about me messing with you tonight, okay. I’ll just…be out here in the stairwell.”

Ginny’s mind went racing and Draco had all but made it to the hallway before she called him back.


He poked his head back inside the door in wonderment.

She sighed, barely audible. “What are the other Slytherins going to say?”

“What do you mean?” He gave her a curious look.

“They’re expecting you to run me out, aren’t they? They…they don’t know why you’re really here.”

He shrugged his shoulders and appeared somewhat annoyed at her question. “Nothing I can do about it now, Weasley. Why? Got any brilliant ideas?” Draco’s signature smirk was set perfectly on his face.

“Actually, yeah. How ‘bout you get me that lion back and neither one of us has to stay in this sodding, old house a minute longer?”

“What do you mean?” Draco said for the second time.

“I mean…that I’ll let you run me out if you’ll promise to give me the lion back. You make yourself look good, I get what I came for, and we don’t have to freeze sitting in this dump all night.”

Ginny stared at the absent look on Draco’s face, wondering why he looked so deep in thought. Why would he be taking so long to answer her?


Weasley’s proposition had taken Draco off guard. Sleeping in his warm bed was highly appealing, yes, but Draco had experienced plenty of warmth standing next to her just moments before. As ridiculous as it might sound, he no longer felt like returning to the school.

“Don’t be an idiot.” He thought. “She’s offering to let you both off the hook and all you have to do is give her that stupid mascot.” Draco stared off into the distance as he pondered the idea. “But I don’t want to return to the school.” He’d made up his mind.

“I don’t think so, Weasley,” he said. “After all…that would give you entirely too much satisfaction now, wouldn’t it?”

Draco knew the consequences of his words before he’d even spat them out. Ginny turned on him, sending her book flying to the floor as her face, once again, turned the color of her hair. He was smiling within as he watched the anger building inside her…and he was enjoying every minute of it. Ginny looked just about ready to verbally tear his head off when a sound made the hair on the back of Draco’s neck stand up.


Ginny interrupted the scene she was about to cause to stare directly at Draco. “What was that?”

“It sounded like…a wolf.” Draco was afraid to say what it really sounded like because saying it aloud might make it so. “It can’t be…a werewolf. Can it?”

“What…what kind of wolf?” Ginny’s face had gone from red to white in a manner of seconds.

Draco didn’t answer her. He stepped over to the window with the missing shutter and looked out onto the lawn where the full moon cast its shadows. Once Draco’s eyes were able to adjust, he saw a large animal bent on all fours pacing the area near the entrance of the Shack. Just as Draco let out a gasp, it entered the front door. Without thinking of anything else, Draco grabbed Ginny’s wrist and yanked her from the room.

“Malfoy! What…”

“Stop talking, Weasley!” He all but screamed the words at her as he hastily pulled her down the hallway to the small door leading into the attic.

“But why—“

“I said be quiet!” Draco had no time to be polite with her. It was imperative they get to the safest spot in the house as swiftly as they could.

Draco shoved her inside the attic and glanced over his shoulder before stepping inside. The hallway was vacant, but a strange scratching sound was heard from the stairwell as if the beast was pawing at the floor. He turned to face Ginny, his heart racing so fast that he could hardly take a breath.

Ginny stepped toward him and lowered her voice. “It…it was a werewolf, wasn’t it?”


Draco just stared at her as she asked the inevitable. He was panic-stricken, but his concern for getting them to safety made her appreciate him in a way that she never thought possible. Whatever it was that had angered her in the other room was long gone from Ginny’s head.

“Yes,” he finally answered her question, as though he was having trouble admitting it aloud. “I saw it come in through the front door.”

“But…what’s a werewolf doing here?” Ginny wished she hadn’t said the words the moment they left her mouth.

“Maybe it’s Lupin,” he said with a scornful drawl. “Out for a little moonlight stroll.”

Ginny chose to ignore his comment, refusing to give Draco the satisfaction of stirring her up again about someone her family considered a close friend. He obviously took her silence as a hint and stepped around Ginny, looking up at the countless number of rafters ascending their way to the rooftop. “We need to climb higher and see if we can break through.”

Ginny took a moment to digest this before thinking that Draco was out of his mind. “Break through what? The roof?”

“It’s an old house, Ginny. We have no choice but to try and use a blasting curse to get our way through. It shouldn’t be too hard.”

Ginny felt her face flush but she couldn’t put her finger on the reason why. It might have had something to do with the fact that she hadn’t thought of using a blasting curse to bust their way out. Then again, it might’ve been the fact that Draco had called her by her first name.

“Look,” Draco spoke out of turn, “I heard it coming up the stairs just as we closed the attic door. I’m sure it doesn’t know we’re here yet and I’d kind of like to keep it that way. We have nothing to use for a defense unless you count a load of dust, some cobwebs and an old broom.” Draco gestured at a corner of the attic where an old broom lay. “It’s impossible to go back the way we came and this is the only idea that I have. There’s no time, Weasley, so let’s climb up before it knows we’re here.”

He hoisted himself up onto the first rafter and held out a hand to pull Ginny up. Her heart had fallen a bit at hearing him call her Weasley again, but she reluctantly put a hand up to grasp his open palm. At the precise moment that Draco’s skin touched hers, a sensation like none she’d ever felt trailed up Ginny’s arm, down her torso and settled so low that her body all but went limp. He bent over as far as he could and, using his free hand to clasp Ginny’s other arm, pulled her up the rest of the way.

“You could help, you know?” He seemed agitated with her. “I can’t hoist a bunch of dead weight all the way to the roof.”

Draco had finished his sentence just as he’d lifted Ginny to his level; as she steadied herself on the rafter and looked up into his gray eyes, a tinge of pink appeared in her cheeks. Ginny’s gaze fell from his penetrating stare down to his neck, where he gave a hard swallow. She held her breath as Draco looked away suddenly, continuing his climb toward the underside of the roof.

“Why does he keep having this effect on me?”

As Ginny glanced up at the rafter above her head she heard a queer scratching noise coming from the attic door several feet below her. She didn’t have to turn her head and look down to know the seriousness of the situation, for Draco’s eyes widened and he pulled her up with such urgency that every thought but getting to the roof as quickly as possible was erased from her head. They climbed as fast as they could, rafter after rafter, until they’d reached the top where Draco promptly found the weakest spot he could and blasted a hole clean through the shingles.

“Ginny, hurry and pull yourself up through the hole!” His hands grasped her waist as though intending to boost her up but she hesitated.

“Draco, wait! What do we do once we get through? It’s…it’s going to follow us!”

“I honestly don’t know. Just hurry!” Draco’s face was white as a ghost, but he was unselfishly putting her safety ahead of his own as he helped her through the hole.

Ginny pulled her legs through and held on tight to the shingles as she maneuvered herself around to help Draco. She was just sticking her head back through the opening with her arm outstretched when she caught sight of an animal bursting its way through the attic door.

“Oh, God - Draco it’s here. Hurry!” Ginny was frantically grabbing at his hands and pulling him up through the hole as she wondered how they were going to get themselves safely on the ground. Just as Draco’s body was fully resting on the shingles, a thought struck her. “The broom!”

“The what?” Draco was rolling over quickly to look her in the face.

Ginny ignored his question as she produced her wand and, sticking her arm back through, shot it at the corner of the attic where the broom still lay. “Accio broom!”

The broom rose from its spot on the floor and into Ginny’s open hand just as the werewolf began to climb the rafters with a vengeance. She held the broom out to Draco as he, without question, quickly climbed on the front while Ginny settled herself in behind him. She wrapped her arms about his waist trying desperately to fight off the many thoughts and sensations running through her head.

Draco turned to look at her. “Are you holding on tight, Ginny?”

She nodded her head just as he kicked off from the shingles and they soared into the open air, leaving the beast howling at them from the attic below.
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