Day 4

Draco got his proof the next morning when he woke up in his own bed with a headache that felt as though it were trying to split his head into two. He groaned as he buried his face in his pillow, not looking forward to another day of pain, but a moment later, he remembered the night before and where he had fallen asleep.

He shot up into a sitting position, looking around the dormitory in shock. He was alone, the unmade beds of his housemates a signal that Crabbe, Goyle, Nott, and Zabini had already left for breakfast. Carefully getting out of bed and selecting a clean set of robes, Draco thought about Weasley's theory, the same one that had crossed his mind briefly the day before, and wondered if it could really be true. Oh, sure, he'd fallen asleep in the Come and Go room and had awoken in his own dormitory, but there could be an explanation for that, right? Maybe a house-elf had brought him back here with their type of magic. Maybe he had dreamt the entire encounter.

He snorted to himself as he did up his tie.

He must have dreamed it. There was no way he would have met with Gingerbread Weasley otherwise.

Pausing for a moment, he wondered if that was such a good thing after all, dreaming of clandestine meetings with a Weasley.

Instead of going to the hospital wing for a headache cure, Draco went to breakfast, a man on a mission.

“Hey, you!” he called out to a Ravenclaw he recognized from his Arithmancy class as he entered the Great Hall. “What's today?”

“Tuesday?” the Ravenclaw answered, with a bit of an attitude, Draco thought.

“And the date?”

“The seventeenth. Of February?” He was now looking at Draco as if he thought the Slytherin had more than a few screws loose, so Draco left him and headed to his table.

On the way to his usual seat, he poked a Slytherin fourth-year in the temple, and asked him the same question.

“Tuesday, you bugger!” the fourth-year answered, but when he looked up at Draco, his eyes widened in horror. “I'm sorry, Mr. Malfoy! Of course you're not a bugger!” he squeaked in a pleading sort of voice.

“Stop that,” Draco answered mindlessly, his eyes already roaming to his next victim. “Slytherins do not plead.”

He took a seat in the middle of the table and proceeded to ask every person around him what day of the week it was and the date.

“Finish my sentence,” he said to a girl with sleek brown hair and a round face. “Today is...”

“A gloriously beautiful day!”

Draco looked around, for the girl he asked hadn't been the one to answer. Luna Lovegood stood behind him, her eyes wide and sparkly. Draco then looked up at the ceiling and saw that the skies were gray with thick, dark clouds and the occasional flash of lightning. He looked at Loony again, but she hadn't moved or changed her expression.

“I just thought you should know that you are looking rather orange today,” she said.

Draco looked to his neighbors, but they were eying Lovegood with just as much confusion as he was.

“You mean me?”

“Of course you. It's rather strange, actually. I've never seen so many orange auras, but I just noticed them today. Three. They stand out quite a bit against the blues, pinks, greens, and grays.” She eyed the length of the table, and Draco didn't have to wonder to whom the gray auras belonged.

“That's nice, Lovegood, but we're really not in the mood to humor you today,” Draco responded, turning back to the table.

“You never are,” she said, sighing wistfully.

She must have left because she didn't speak again, but as Draco gathered some eggs and bacon on his plate, his eyes happened to look up, catching Gemima Weasley's knowing gaze.


That about did it for Draco. He was convinced now that he and Weasley were stuck in some sort of time loop that would repeat Tuesday, February the seventeenth, over and over again for an eternity. Well, maybe not an eternity, but for an indefinite length of time. He didn't know how to feel about it. A tiny part of him that he would never admit existed was panicking, but the rest took the news in stride. What could he do about it? Well, he did have one idea.

He left breakfast, and instead of going to the hospital wing for a headache cure (suddenly, his headache didn't seem to matter, even though it continued to throb), or even to Transfiguration. He went back to his dormitory and scrounged around for a piece of parchment and a quill.

Dear Mother,

I find myself in a bit of a predicament.

Time has stopped moving. I am stuck in a cycle of never-ending Tuesdays. What is the date at home? I cannot tell if the time loop only exists here at Hogwarts or if this is a world-wide phenomenon. It has been Tuesday for the past four days, each one of which begins with the most agonizing headache, and I just don't know what to do.

Please send help.


Then he headed off to the Owlery to send his letter.


What should he do with all his free time? That's exactly what it was, he had decided: free time—time to do whatever he wanted to do without consequence because the next day it just wouldn't matter anymore. He had made a list of things he wanted to accomplish, which he now carried with him in his pocket. As he headed out to the Quidditch pitch, broom hitched over his shoulder, he knew he had to do what he could with this time given, before it disappeared and the days started running chronologically again.

If they ever did.

“Malfoy!” a female voice shouted to him in the entrance hall. He stopped and looked around, spotting Weasley fighting against the tide of students heading upstairs to reach his side. “Where are you going?” she asked, unruly strands of her hair falling in her eyes as she panted.

“Not that it's any of your business, but I thought I'd go play some Quidditch,” he replied with a sneer.

“But we have classes! You can't just skip them!” She looked a bit harried, which Draco found amusing. She was trying much too hard when she certainly didn't have to.

“Weasley, Weasley, Weasley,” he said, putting a hand on her shoulder gently, and looking down into her brown eyes with a confidence that she only wished she could have had. “Why bother?” Then he pushed open the great oak doors before she could shake herself out of her shock.

“Wait just a minute!” he heard her say as he descended the front stairs. She was steps behind him, following him out onto the grounds.

“Look,” he said, spinning around. “I'm not going to waste my time sitting in the same class over and over and over again, with the same idiots, receiving the same lecture, learning the same spells, for days on end. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, well, bugger off and go do that. I'm going to have some fun with this time we've been given.”

“So you're just going to skive off your classes? You're just going to fake sick until this... this... problem works itself out?” she asked, her brows slashed downwards in an angry V, her hands waving wildly through the air. Hm. She seemed agitated.

“I'm not even going to do that,” he replied, turning on his heel. “I'm just not going to show up.”

He could hear the whirring of her brain through the enlarging space between them. It was easy to guess the conflict going on in her head. Draco had made a good point. Her desire to shirk off her responsibilities and do what she wanted to do warred with that Gryffindor sense of goody-goodiness. Or maybe that was just a Weasley attribute.

But a moment later, he heard her make an aggravated noise that sounded a bit like a roar, and then there were stomping footsteps, until she caught up with him.

“I don't know why I'm doing this,” she said.

Draco smirked at her.

“Life shouldn't be so redundant that it becomes boring,” he answered.

They spoke no more the rest of the way to the pitch.


After getting into the broom shed and pulling out a broom for Weasley and the trunk containing the Quidditch balls, she and Draco made their way onto the pitch and into the air. They released the Snitch and competed against each other trying to catch it, but sometimes they forgot about their search and just raced laps from one set of goalposts to the other and gloried in the freedom of not sitting in class. Not even the gray skies could bring them down, and if it happened to rain on them while they were flying, at least being wet and outside was better than the alternative.

“Malfoy, what is that?” Weasley called, pointing at something off in the distance.

Draco was concentrating and didn't look much farther than across the pitch, where Weasley was flying and pointing.

“I'm not falling for that,” he called back as his eyes returned to the sky in front of him for a hint of gold.

“No, really! It looks like an owl!”

He didn't bother to reply, but a few moments later, a bird landed on his head and pecked at his skull. He swiped at it angrily, but it just flew off and re-landed on his arm, while the package it had been carrying fell into his hands.

Weasley flew up beside him, eying the black owl sceptically.

“Who is it from?” she asked.

“None of your bloody business!” he answered.

She flew away, back to the opposite goalposts in an offended huff as he read the letter he had unattached from his mother's owl's leg.


Darling, do you feel well? You sound nonsensical! I know you would not want your studies to suffer because of your health, so I think you should go to the hospital wing as soon as possible.

Everything is fine here. It's the 17th, darling, just like it is at Hogwarts. Are you having headaches? I've sent some headache potion with Orion.

Please get well.


“Ah, well, I've done everything I can,” Draco said, pocketing the letter and opening the accompanying package. His mum had sent six vials of headache cure, one of which Draco downed immediately, but he looked at the remaining five a bit sadly. He would wake up tomorrow with another headache, but because it would be a new Tuesday, he wouldn't have the five vials of potion anymore. It seemed such a waste, especially since he knew he would need them tomorrow.

“I've got it! I've got it!” Weasley yelled, interrupting his thoughts.

Draco hastily rewrapped his package and stuffed it in his pocket with his letter. At that moment, Weasley reached his side with the Snitch in hand and a gloating glint in her eyes.

“I win,” she said.

“One point to Griselda,” Draco conceded distractedly.

Her face fell into an expression of confusion. “What?”

“Er... Gorgonzola?” At her uncomprehending look he tried Ginger, Jennifer, and Giselle, but none of these seemed to work either. Finally, he threw up his hands in defeat. “Well, I really don't care what your name is, all right?”

“You thought my name was Gorgonzola? I wasn't named after a cheese!” she cried, and Draco rolled his eyes, expecting more drama than her name was worth.

“No, I thought your name was Griselda. Obviously, I was wrong.”

“My name is Ginny. Ginevra, if you want to be hexed. Not Griselda, not Gorgonzola, not Ginger, or Jennifer, or Giselle!”

“Can I start calling you that, then? Since we're now such good friends?” he replied sarcastically, his grin wicked. Her eyes narrowed at him and her Snitch-less hand wandered slowly to her sleeve, where he supposed she hid her wand.

“Don't you dare.”

“It's too late,” he replied, flying in circles around her. “You are now Ginevra, forever after.”

“Don't call me that!” she yelled. “My own mother doesn't even call me that!”

Before Draco could answer, a voice shouted from the ground below, “Miss Weasley, Mr. Malfoy, what in Merlin's name do you think you are doing?”


They hadn't expected Madam Hooch to appear on the pitch to teach a class, and now that they'd been caught, Weasley was looking quite frantic.

“This was all your idea!” she hissed at him as they stood in front of the doors to Dumbledore's office, waiting for him to answer their knock. “This is your fault!”

Draco shrugged. “You didn't have to come along. I never intended for a little weasel to follow me.”

She glared at him as the door opened and the headmaster looked down on them with a serious eye.

“Well, come in, come in,” he said, gesturing towards two chairs in front of his desk. They sat down and he continued. “I must say, I am quite surprised. This is an... unexpected development.”

Draco drummed his fingers on the arms of his chair, glaring at the portrait of a man pointing at him and whispering to his neighbor.

“What?” he said drily. “That Weasley and I would be skiving off classes?”

“Certainly that, Mr. Malfoy. Mostly that you, er, skived off together.”

Draco noticed Weasley wriggling in her seat as if she were about to explode, and when she said, “If I may, sir?” Draco rolled his eyes.

Dumbledore nodded for her to continue.

“It's a funny story, actually... you may not even believe it, but I wouldn't lie about this! Malfoy and I are stuck in a time loop. We've been repeating the same Tuesday for the past four days. That's why we skipped our classes. We never should have, of course, but...”

“You've already sat them,” the headmaster finished for her, looking intrigued by this news.

“It sounds absolutely absurd,” Weasley continued, fiddling with the fabric of her robes, “but it's true. You have to believe me.”

“Oh, I believe you, Miss Weasley,” he replied, smiling at her consolingly. “That does sound like quite a problem.”

“Y-you do?” she said, and Draco shared her shock that the headmaster didn't question what she said. Draco wondered if he trusted Weasley's word because of the fact that she was a Weasley, or if the story was just absurd enough to be true.

Draco didn't want a Weasley representing him, so he spoke up to have his say. “We skipped class because what we do doesn't matter anymore. What's the point in going to class? Who cares about getting detentions? Tomorrow we will start all over again, a brand new slate, as if the day before had never happened, because you know what? It never did.

“So, yeah, we skipped class. And we are going to skip all the rest of our classes. And if you give us detention, we'll skip that too,” Draco said, the expression on his face showing—possibly—how deeply the whole situation really affected him.

Dumbledore watched him with a blank face that gave none of his thoughts away.

“That's true, Mr. Malfoy. In this case, it would be laughable for me to punish you. But what will you do when time moves forward again?” he asked.

“What?” Draco said.

“Let's say that I expel you both from Hogwarts and send you on a train home tonight. What will you do if you wake up tomorrow and it is Wednesday?”

Draco looked over at Weasley, who bit her lip worriedly and didn't seem to be paying any attention to the conversation, though he knew that she was.

“I'll deal with it when it happens,” he answered after a few moments of thought.

Dumbledore smiled at him as if he was humoring Draco, as if Draco was acting childishly. Suddenly, all the Slytherin wanted to do was leave, and he'd just resolved to let himself out when the headmaster spoke again.

“Well, I'll do what I can to figure out a solution to this problem—just in case it resolves itself before I forget this conversation ever happened, of course. If you feel inclined to go to the detention that Madam Hooch has prepared for the both of you, you can meet her in the trophy room at seven o'clock. Enjoy your Tuesdays for as long as they last.”

With that, Draco knew they had been dismissed. Weasley followed him as he exited the office.

“We—we could mess our entire future up, fooling around like we did today,” Weasley said. There was a shrillness in her voice that Draco secretly felt, but he would never speak his mutual fear aloud.

“If you want to go to detention, be my guest,” he replied. “And if you want to sit through all your classes again tomorrow, you can do that, too. But leave me out of it. I'll do what I want.”

He stalked off but Weasley yelled after him, “Fine then! Ruin your life! When the world goes back to normal, I'll be ready for it!”

He heard the sound of her angry footsteps receding in the opposite direction, but she could bugger herself, for all he cared.
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