Granger’s “Brilliant Idea”, as I’d taken to calling it, had snuck up on us after the Hogsmeade visit. Ginny and I had worked extra hard to get all of our homework done, leaving us a weekend to just enjoy. We had been using our free time to just talk, or sit quietly, sketching in Ginny’s case, and reading in mine. She had an amazing gift for capturing the world around her, showing the way she saw the world.
Sometimes we’d talk about our childhoods. She knew how Lucius had done everything to destroy my childhood, trying to mold me into his idea of a strong wizard. And she told me of always being the afterthought, of being the adored baby, yet also, according to her brothers, the family pest.
She also talked to me about what it was like for her in the Chamber of Secrets. I’d never really understood how badly Lucius’ scheme had scarred her. It only made me more aware of how precious she was, how amazing her friendship and her loyalty were. And more treasured still that she’d give them to the son of the man who had done so much to ruin her life. This made me more determined to be worthy of her.
We spent that morning in an empty classroom, with Ginny sketching as I read aloud from a muggle book she was especially fond of. A few times, I saw professors wander by, usually smiling at the unlikely pair we made. Two students who should have been the bitterest enemies, now the best of friends.
We parted for a few hours, Ginny wanting to surprise me. After dinner, we’d wandered off to our common rooms, though I had quickly enough wound up outside of hers, waiting. I’d dressed simply, a pair of black trousers and a deep green button down shirt.
When she came out of the portrait, I couldn’t help but smile. She’d chosen a simple black miniskirt and a silver tank top with some sort of sheer black jacket.
“I take it you approve?”
“Definitely. You look stunning.”
She smiled and took my hand as her eyes traveled up and down my body.
“You look pretty great yourself. Green is definitely your color.”
I could hear other students coming, so we started walking towards the Room of Requirement, stealing glances every now and then. We took the long way there, nerves getting a hold of us, for some unknown reason.
“Ready?” I ask her quietly. She nods as I open the door. Though we could hear nothing on the outside, inside the music was loud. Small groups were clustered around the room, talking and laughing.
We could see Harry, Ron and Hermione talking to Lavender, Parvati and Seamus, three other Gryffindor seventh years. Parvati had lost her twin sister during the final battle. This was the first she’d been seen socially since then.
“It’s good to see her out. Remembrance is good, but we need to keep living, too.” I barely heard her over the noise. We made our way closer to the refreshments, and I opted to brave the crowds to get two glasses of punch.
I was only away from her for a moment, but that was all it took for Harry to rush to her side. She caught my eye, and I raised an eyebrow, standing back to see what she would do.
The entire room picked up on the tension as the music came to a close. The band stopped playing, caught up in watching the drama around the Boy Who Lived.
“Ginny, would you just answer my question?”
She sighed and met his green-eyed gaze.
“I really did not want to discuss this here, but no, my choosing to come with Draco had nothing to do with trying to make you jealous. In fact, it has nothing to do with you at all.
“Draco and I are friends. Maybe that’s all we are, or maybe there’s more, I’m not sure yet. It’s hard enough to be friends, let alone date, when I’m constantly answering owls from five overprotective brothers, getting death glares from the sixth, along with his best friend, and basically providing entertaining drama for the entire school. Merlin, Harry, I think I preferred it when I was an afterthought to you. Now that I’m not, I find myself not really caring what you think.
“You need to back off of this, and get Ron to back off too. It’s hard enough to be your friend, and his sister, without the two of you bloody complicating things further.”
When she finished, Harry’s jaw was open and he was staring like she’d grown a second head. I was seriously tempted to applaud, but I resisted the impulse in favor of quietly speaking as I reached her side.
“Now, Potter, if you’re done realizing what a colossal prat you are, I’d like to reclaim my date.”
He didn’t answer, just glared at me as he turned and walked away, back to Ron and Hermione. A glare from Granger had the band playing again, and conversations slowly started to pick up again.
“Are you sure you still want to stay, Gin? We don’t have to.”
“It’s okay, Draco. I will not give them the satisfaction of leaving now. Let them handle it, it’s their problem, not ours.”
I smiled then, that smile that only she seems to draw out of me. And then we were dancing, the lessons Mother had insisted on finally paying off. Of course, the added perks of showing Ron up, and driving both he and Potter apoplectic were just bonus. The real benefit was just getting to hold Ginny close.
“Did you mean it, Gin? About not knowing if we’d be more?” I’d figured we were already halfway to more before tonight. I wasn’t even sure she heard me until she tugged me closer, so her mouth was brushing against my ear.
“I still don’t want to rush anything, but you know I’m curious.”
I pulled back, just enough to look into her eyes, searching to see if there might be more of a clue in the brown depths. She was searching mine as well. And then I couldn’t help it, I had to taste her lips.
Her arms slid up to rest behind my neck, her fingers tangling in my hair as I slid my hands around to her back, holding on like I was drowning in her. And perhaps I was.
That first kiss lasted for ages. I lost track of how long we stood in the very center of the dance floor, lost in each other. When we finally separated, our eyes opening slowly, we smiled at each other, the small, intimate smiles meant only for each other.
And then the death glares set in. I’m sure Hermione had her hands full, but the unmistakable sound of the Weasley twins, who’d received a special invitation from McGonagall, saved us. I rather suspected the invitation was in appreciation of the swamp they’d created two years previously, before they left school.
They were the first to approach us.
“Hurt her,” the one, I think it was Fred, began.
“And we’ll all kill you,” the other finished.
With that, they held out their hands, clapped me on the back, and basically gave their approval.
And that is how a Malfoy got permission to date the Gryffindor Princess.
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