Standard disclaimer applies, only the plot is mine.
It’s almost 10 pm and Ginny Weasley is standing outside the Gryffindor common room, debating whether she is foolish enough to meet Malfoy in the classroom. She’s wearing Harry’s Invisibility Cloak and has his Marauder’s Map under her arm – both borrowed without his permission but necessary if she’s to avoid being caught. It’s awkward trying to keep the Cloak on and the Map from slipping as she’s holding a small, shallow basin carefully in one hand and she doesn’t want the contents to slop over.
Finally, with only a few minutes to spare, she makes her decision and moves as quickly as she can down the corridors to the classroom. She’s late though and when she enters the classroom silently, she sees Malfoy pacing, obviously angry that she hasn’t shown up. She lets the Cloak slip off her and takes a childish pleasure in his start of surprise. Folding the Cloak up, she slips the Map into the folds; she doesn’t want Malfoy to see it – no point giving him something to hold over Harry’s head.
She moves over to one of the desks pushed up against a wall and gently places the Pensieve on it. She pulls a small bowl from her pocket and places it next to the Pensieve, then turns to face Malfoy. He’s staring at the Pensieve with interest, and reaches out to touch the shimmering silver liquid inside but is stopped by Ginny’s hand on his arm. “Don’t,” she says somewhat sharply, “That’s not a good idea.”
He watches as she carefully transfers some of the liquid in the basin to the bowl and then, touching her wand to the basin, pulls out what appears to be gossamer filaments. They curl around her wand but when she dips her wand into the bowl, they unfurl and mix with the liquid within. She repeats this three times until nothing comes out of the basin when she dips her wand.
“What are those things, Weasley?” Malfoy breathes, “And just what is that basin?”
“A Pensieve, Malfoy. And those things, as you call them, are my thoughts, captured in the Pensieve until I take them back. But I don’t want them back in my head just yet, so I’m putting them in this bowl until we’re finished,” Ginny answers, covering the basin with a sheaf of parchment.
Draco doesn’t want to admit it, but he knows nothing about a Pensieve or what it does. All he knows is that it sounds a bit dodgy, thoughts being captured and put in a basin – do they change once they’re out of your head? How has this helped Ginny Weasley? Finally he breaks the silence and says in what he hopes is a commanding voice, “Look, Weasley, I don’t have all night. Let’s get on with it.”
Ginny just laughs; Malfoy is so predictable … she knows he’s desperate to find out about the Pensieve but is trying to hide his ignorance with his usual arrogance. There’s a bitter undercurrent to her laugh though, it’s obvious he thinks this will be a quick fix – ta da, you’re cured. He has no idea.
She pulls two chairs up to the desk where the Pensieve sits and motions Malfoy to join her. He’s beginning to have second thoughts about the whole thing … does she expect him to do that strange thing with his thoughts? But his need and truthfully, his curiosity, outweigh his caution and he sits down in the second chair, giving her a wary look.
“It’s difficult when your thoughts are jumbled all up to sort them out,” she says, almost as if she were reciting a lesson, “And the Pensieve helps you by taking the thoughts that are giving you the most trouble and finding threads between them.” She stops for a moment, trying to choose the best words to explain. “Sometimes what you see in those thoughts is upsetting; it’s a part of you that you don’t want to see, don’t want to accept.”
“And what did you see in your thoughts, Weasley?” Draco asks, achingly curious to know what Ginny Weasley could fear in her thoughts.
“We’re not here about me, Malfoy” Ginny spits out, “We’re here about you, your thoughts, not mine.” She looks away, and her gaze becomes distant for a moment, as if she’s seeing something she’s forgotten and regrets that she’s done so. “But if you’re thinking this is going to be easy, we might as well stop right now. It will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. It’s no picnic facing up to your failings.”
His pride is immediately pricked; is she implying that he, a Malfoy, might not be able to do something a Weasley could? “I can handle it, Weasley. Just tell me what to do and let’s get on with it.”
She gives him a pitying look, and then shrugs. So be it … it’s his decision. “The process is simple. You think of what thought is bothering you, making sure it’s foremost in your mind. Then put your wand to your temple and say ‘Menta Mobilus’ and the thought will solidify so that your wand can pull it out. Once it’s out and curled round your wand, you transfer it to the Pensieve. The liquid inside binds the thought until you’re ready for the next step.”
“And that is?” Draco asks, leaning forward in his eagerness. “What happens next?”
Ginny stares at the Pensieve, at the smooth surface of the silver liquid, as if it were a viper ready to strike. “Once you’ve transferred all of the thoughts that are troubling you, you mix them in the liquid with your wand and say ‘Pensa Revela’. The Pensieve will take your thoughts and put them into order, into sequence somehow, so that you can see how they relate. How you use that knowledge is up to you then.”
Draco stares at the Pensieve as well now. He’s skeptical but Weasley is convincing. “Will you be able to see my thoughts?” he asks, the thought suddenly coming to him – he doesn’t want anyone, especially her, to see what’s in his mind.
“No, you’re the only one who’ll be able to,” she replies, “That’s why I took my thoughts out before. Can’t have them mixed up … Dumbledore warned me it could be disturbing to mix peoples’ thoughts.” She looks over at Draco, and then adds, “The only way I’d be able to see your thoughts would be if I went into the Pensieve. That’s why I told you not to touch the liquid before. Physical contact pulls you in until someone or something pulls you out.” She shudders. “I did it once – it’s like reliving everything over again. If I did it when your thoughts were in there, I’d experience the events that led to your thoughts.”
Draco doesn’t really understand what she means by that, but decides it doesn’t matter at this point. “Well, let’s get on with it, Weasley. I told you before, I don’t have all night.”
Ginny just barely restrains herself from hitting him, slapping some sense into him. He doesn’t have a clue, and she wonders why she’s even bothering. Then she remembers … the incident in the corridor. She could probably brazen it out; after all, everyone would think he’s just trying to slander a Weasley. But she doesn’t want to risk it, she’s spent five years trying to appear normal – she’s not about to take any chances.
“Listen to me, Malfoy, and listen well because I’m only going to say this once. I’m going to stay here only as long as it takes to make sure that you know what to do. Then I’m going to leave and you’re going to take that Pensieve to your room or wherever you want to go to do this.” Ginny pins Draco with a look, and for a moment, he’s almost frightened by its intensity. “When you’re done, when you’ve found out what you need to know, then send me a message. I’ll come and take the Pensieve back.”
Draco can’t help but blurt out, “But what if I need some help? What if the spells don’t work?”
Ginny says coolly, “They’ll work. Now, I don’t have all night either. Let’s make sure you have the incantations right and then I’m gone.”
They go through the process several times, Draco trying not to wince as he transfers a thought to the Pensieve. Ginny’s satisfied that he knows what to do and she gathers the bowl and the Cloak in preparation to leave.
“One piece of advice, Malfoy,” she says, turning back from the door, “Make sure you’re sitting down when you take a look at your thoughts. I know from experience that seeing them, seeing what they mean, can be upsetting. We wouldn’t want you to fall on that pampered butt, after all.” With that, she’s gone, leaving Draco sputtering in indignation.
He picks the Pensieve up carefully and leaves the classroom to creep back to the Slytherin dungeons. Ginny Weasley has surprised him again and he wonders what other secrets she’s holding. Well, if she thinks she’s finished with him, she’s sadly mistaken. Draco has full intentions of learning everything about her before he’s done.
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