Disclaimer: Canon characters do not belong to me.


Chapter Ten – Dissonance

Being that the next day was Saturday, Ginny decided that it would be perfectly okay to lay in bed and ignore everyone until it was time for her to meet up with Draco for practice. When Elizabeth had come in early that morning, Ginny feigned ill; although, from the way her stomach was churning, it may not have been such a lie. She was unbelievably, ridiculously, utterly confused about what had happened the night before. She didn’t want think about it, but every thought that passed through her mind was of Draco – Draco holding her so close, Draco keeping her safe, Draco’s eyes watching the potion combine, Draco’s kiss. And with each stray thought, the knot in her stomach tightened until she was doubled over with pain in her bed.

“Ginevra Weasley, you cannot very well lay in this bed all day,” Jordi called, as she stepped into the room. She sat down on Ginny’s bed and yanked the covers back to look at her. “Merlin, Ginny, you look a right awful wreck! Draco didn’t get you drunk last night, did he?”

Ginny’s eyes widened considerably. She sat up slowly, with a look of horror plastered on her face. “How did you know I was with Draco last night?”

Jordi shrugged. “I had detention from Snape with Draco last month.”

“So why didn’t you tell me that Draco was Snape’s overseer?”

“Didn’t particularly seem important,” she answered simply. After a few moments of Ginny just sitting there, trying to digest that Jordi hadn’t told her about Draco, Jordi sighed and said, “So, are you going to tell me what happened to make you hide in room, or I am going to have to track down Malfoy?”

A pained expression played across Ginny’s face, and she brought her knees up to her chest, resting her chin there. “I really corked things up, Jordi,” she confessed. If she could trust anyone, it was Jordi. Jordi looked away for a moment, and then she smiled an unsettling sort of smile.

“I see,” she said. She turned back to look Ginny straight in the eye. “Have you told anyone besides me?”

“I haven’t even told you yet,” Ginny said, frowning a little bit. How could Jordi possibly know so much?

“Come on, Gin, it’s quite obvious. He asked you out! I can tell he fancies you, and yesterday he must have asked you out, and from the way that you are carrying on in here, I can only assume that you said yes, despite the fact that you are already dating Charlie.”

Ginny hid her face in her knees. “Not quite, Jordi,” she whispered.

“Yeah well you didn’t…no, you didn’t snog him…did you?”
Ginny looked back up and nodded.

“Ginny, how could you do that?” Jordi shouted.

“I don’t know!” Ginny grabbed at the covers to try and hide beneath them again, but Jordi held fast. “It’s just we were working on the potion together, and he saved me from it exploding again, and it all just sort of happened so quickly!”

“Ginny, you cheated on Charlie! He really likes you and you bloody well cheated on him!”

“I know, I know!” she howled. “I didn’t mean to though. I told Draco so and everything. I’m just so – I don’t know what to do.”

Jordi ran a hand through her jet-black hair and exhaled deeply. “Did you snog him or did he snog you? Who made the first move?”

“I did – but I made him stop too. Jordi, help me. I really have no idea what I’m supposed to do. Should I tell Charlie? Oh gods I don’t want to do that.”

Jordi looked intently at her friend. She could tell that Ginny was truly regretful and all broken up about what she had done. Ginny looked up with little tears in her eyes. “I think that you have to talk to Draco. And most importantly, you have to figure out exactly what you feel for him because you can’t string Charlie along, Gin.”

Ginny shook her head. “I know, and I feel really awful about it. I do like Charlie and I…” She trailed off because no matter how many times she said it, no matter how much she tried to force herself into feeling something, the fact of the matter was: she had never felt so much as a flutter when Charlie touched her. With Draco, the sensation was so deeply intense, even from the tiniest little touch of his lips or the brush of his fingers.

“And what, Ginny?”

“I don’t know, Jordi. I want to be sure, but I just can’t be. I don’t know what to think about anything. IT’S DRACO FUCKING MALFOY, FOR MERLIN’S SAKE!”

Jordi’s eyes widened at Ginny’s vulgarity. She had never heard Ginny say anything worse than ‘damn’ before. “He’s really got you messed up, hasn’t he?” she asked.

“I’m sorry, Jordi,” she whispered.

“Look, Gin, you’re my best friend and I fully intend to support you in whatever decision you make. But, Charlie is my friend too, so you need to make up your mind quickly. If you don’t tell him about this Malfoy business in two weeks, I will.”

Ginny wanted to protest, but in her heart she knew that Jordi was right. Jordi always was the most diplomatic among them.

“Jordi, when did I become so codependent?”

Jordi laughed and rolled her eyes. “You’re not codependent, Ginevra. You made a mistake – people make mistakes. You’re only human, after all.”

“Yeah, I guess…I really put my foot into it this time though. Well, at least I made one decision. I decided I’m not going to the States, at least not right away.”

Jordi smiled brightly. “Excellent! I am so glad! Seriously, we would all miss you way too much. And besides, you can’t very well leave me to take the Potions N.E.W.T all by my onesies, can you? What made you decide?”

Ginny looked away for a moment, but there were no secrets between herself and Jordi. “Draco.”

“What? Okay, now you definitely need to tell me what happened!” Jordi scrambled up onto the bed further so that she and Ginny were sitting directly across from each other. “Let’s ignore the bad stuff, so tell me, was it all romantic-like?” she asked, grinning from ear to ear.

“Oy, you’ve been hanging around Lizzie too much lately,” Ginny admonished, but she was smiling as well.


Draco went into the Room of Requirement early that day, almost two hours earlier than he told Ginny to meet him there. But there was no piano in sight, as he sat down on the large armchair in front of the roaring fire. Although it was the end of March and the air was getting warmer, Draco could not get the chill out of the room, no matter how hard he tried. After a few moments of staring into the fire and massaging his temples to rid himself of the headache that had settled there, he sank out of the chair and landed rather ungracefully on the fluffy rug on the floor. Ginny wasn’t due for an hour and forty-five minutes, and Draco felt he could afford a few moments in true character.

He stretched out languidly, and then he settled himself with one arm behind his head and the other on his stomach with his legs crossed at the ankles. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to purge his head of all the thoughts that kept running through it.

He didn’t want to think about her; there was no reason to think about her. She had made it abundantly clear the night before that kissing her was a mistake, and yet…well, he just could not stop thinking about the way she made all the little hairs on the back of his neck stand on end when she’d brushed his hand leaning in to finish the potion. He couldn’t drive away the feeling of her body pressed close against his, her hot breath warming his chest. He couldn’t ignore the electricity that surged through him when she had brushed her lips against his. He couldn’t forget how absolutely perfect that small act of intimacy had been.

Draco let his eyes close, imagining that Ginny was sitting there with him. She was singing softly, adding her unique harmony to his new composition. He smiled for a moment, but then he opened his eyes. “Get a bloody hold on yourself, Malfoy. She’s just a stupid girl.”

He didn’t know why she affected him so much. Frankly, he didn’t want to know – it was enough that it happened, and it needed to stop. His lip curled into a sneer. “She’s some girl you snogged. You’ve snogged loads of girls, most of them already attached at the time. Why is this one any different?” The sneer disappeared and was replaced by a soft frown. He didn’t want to answer that last question. If he was honest with himself, he didn’t want to know what that answer would reveal.

Draco began to feel pangs of pain behind his eyes, so he closed them again. He nestled a little into the carpet, wishing for a blanket. A white afghan blanket appeared and he pulled it over himself for extra warmth – it really was awfully cold in there. The warmth from the fireplace quickly became cloying from his close proximity, and he drifted off to sleep.


Dinner in the Great Hall passed without incident, although Ginny’s eyes kept rising to the Staff table. Draco was absent, but no one else seemed to have noticed. After about the fifth time that Ginny had looked over at the head table, Jordi discreetly pinched her leg under the table, causing her to shriek. But other than that, dinner passed without incident.

It was almost 7 o’clock when they were finished eating, and Ginny’s stomachache from earlier that morning was back in full force. She didn’t even know why she was going back to see him. It was only going to be awkward, or worse…she might end up kissing him again. Deep inside, she knew that was a very likely possibility, but she didn’t want to think about that until she had spoken to Draco.

Ginny and Charlie walked hand in hand, slowly, down the maze of hallways on the way to the Room of Requirement. Ginny was burning to say something, but she couldn’t find any words.

“So what are you two working on tonight?” Charlie asked, swinging Ginny’s hand back and forth.

“I’m not sure, we just sort of wing it most of the time,” she said, quietly. “I was thinking maybe some Porter. We do a lot of Arlen, Gershwin, and Rodgers and Hart, but we haven’t done Porter in while.”

“Wait, what? Who are all these people?”

Ginny sighed. “Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, George and Ira Gershwin, and Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were all American Muggle composers in the Tin Pan Alley era. They wrote some of the greatest music in the world, especially Harold Arlen. Arlen is my favorite.”

Charlie raised an eyebrow at her. “I still have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Well maybe if you listened carefully,” Ginny said, testily.

“Hey, just because I don’t listen to random American music from some forgotten time!” he said, playfully. Noticing, however, that Ginny was less than amused, he put on a pout and took her other hand so that she was facing him. “Come on now, I didn’t mean it.”

Ginny rolled her eyes, and Charlie laughed at her. “Really, Ginny, I’m sorry. Right, I have a really spiffing idea! Why don’t I come with you and listen to you practice?”

Ginny considered the idea for a moment. Draco had never expressly forbidden bringing someone with her to practice, although it had pretty much been understood that they worked alone. She had a feeling that Draco would be angry, but she didn’t think she could bear to be alone with him. She was almost afraid of what she’d do if she was alone.

“I guess that would be all right,” she answered, slowly.

“Guess? Guess nothing, it’ll be brilliant! I’ll get to hear my girl in her element. Come on.” He started to walk quickly down the hall, very nearly dragging Ginny behind him.

“Aren’t we eager?” she said, mockingly under her breath. The knot in her stomach tightened and she began to feel like she had made a very, very bad decision again. But it was too late to change it, as Charlie was set in his way and they had already reached the Room of Requirement.

Charlie barged in without ceremony. “Oi, Malfoy, you in here?” Ginny groaned. This was not going to be good.

“Draco?” she called softly. The room was dimly lit by the fireplace, but Ginny didn’t see the piano anywhere. Maybe he wasn’t going to be there… “Draco, are you here?”

“Malfoy, you here or not, mate?” Charlie called. Ginny walked over to the fireplace and saw Draco laying there. “Ginny, I don’t think you’re practicing tonight,” Charlie said loudly from the other end of the room.

“Charlie, shut it,” she hissed. “He’s asleep.”

Draco had shifted drastically in his sleep. He had curled himself into a ball, pulling the blanket tight around himself. Ginny knelt down beside him and placed a tentative hand on his forehead. He was very warm, but Ginny wasn’t sure if it was from sleeping so close to the fireplace. She noticed that he was shivering ever so slightly. She moved her hand from his forehead to behind his neck. He was burning up.

“Draco,” she whispered, “wake up, Draco. You have to get up.” She placed both her hands on his cheeks and softly kissed his forehead. Just then, Draco shot awake, grasping onto her left wrist almost painfully. She gasped when he sat up, still holding fast to her arm.

His eyes searched her out in the relative darkness. “Ginny?” he whispered. Ginny nodded wordlessly, staring directly into his fever-bright eyes. He dropped her arm but reached out to hug her close to him. Ginny sat stiffly, wanting to embrace him back, but Charlie was right there in the room. Just as she thought of him, he started to walk up and Ginny quickly shrugged out of Draco’s grip.

“You awake, Sleeping Beauty?” Charlie said, smartly. Draco just looked up at him with confusion written on his features for a moment, replaced quickly with his usual look of disdain. He used Ginny’s shoulder to help himself stand up, and when he was standing, he reached back down to help Ginny to her feet.

“Isn’t she quite the little nurse,” he said, looking quite intently at Ginny. She noticed that the fever seemed to have dissipated some. His eyes weren’t shiny anymore, although he was still rather flushed.

“Must get it from her mum!” Charlie said, laughing and clapping Draco on the back. Ginny saw Draco wince. She bit down on her lip to keep from saying something she would probably regret. She was deeply unsettled by how tightly Draco had hugged her…and by how good it had felt. She had felt tingles running through her hands when she felt his forehead and cheeks, but when he had engulfed her in his arms, it was like an explosion of pleasure had burst through her veins.

The piano had appeared and Draco made his way over to it. He sat down at the bench and ran his fingers lovingly over the keys. He looked significantly at Ginny, but she did not sit down next to him on the bench like she normally did when they were first starting out. He hid his disappointment.

“Did you warm up, or shall we do some scales?” he asked, nonchalantly.

Ginny was aching to sit next to him. The fire in her body had all but disappeared when he stepped away from her, and she wanted it back, but she couldn’t sit there…not while she was still with Charlie. “Scales, please,” she said, false brightness in her tone. Draco quirked an eyebrow, but said nothing as he began to play some arpeggios for her.

After about a half hour of warm ups, Ginny told Draco that she wanted to work specifically on Porter. Draco smiled – Porter was always a fun challenge for singers as he was quite fond of the list song. But, as he played and Ginny sang, he started to feel ill again.

Instead of closing his eyes to feel the music, he kept them fixed on the sheet music, not daring to look up at Ginny. Charlie kept pawing at her, holding her, touching her arms throughout the entire practice. Ginny was beginning to feel nauseated.

“Draco, are you all right?” Ginny asked, as he started perusing the music to “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love).”

“I’m fine,” he said evenly, although his fever was returning again, and the pounding headache had come back in full force at his temples.

“Are you sure?”

“He’s fine, Gin, he just said he was fine. Now come on, I want to hear this next one,” Charlie said. Draco glared at him, but began to play the opening of the song.

Charlie wrapped his arms around Ginny’s waist and rested his chin on her shoulder as she started to sing. Although it was imperceptible to Charlie, as well as anyone else who might have heard it, to Draco, Ginny’s voice sounded strained, almost strangled. She had been stumbling over notes all night. And likewise, to Ginny, the accompaniment while technically perfect lacked the passion that Draco had always been able to evoke. Charlie pressed a kiss to Ginny’s cheek and she, caught off guard, stopped singing entirely. Draco pounded a chord, effectively cutting everything off.

“Do you think maybe you could keep your bloody mitts off her for longer than two seconds? It’s impossible for her to sing well with you pawing her!” he snapped.

Taken aback, Charlie let go of Ginny and raised his hands in surrender for a moment. Then his eyes narrowed and he took Ginny by the hand again.

“Who are you to tell me anything, Malfoy? Ginny’s my girlfriend and I can touch her if I very well please.”

“Excuse me?” Ginny said, disengaging her hand from Charlie’s. Draco raised an eyebrow lazily, although inside he was burning to hear what she would say next.

“Gin, what’s the matter, love? Are all musicians this temperamental?” Charlie asked, laughing nervously.

“I don’t appreciate being spoken about like I’m some sort of object that belongs to you. I may be your girlfriend but that doesn’t give you the right to touch me whenever you so please,” she said evenly, folding her arms across her chest.

“Hey, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you or anything – look can we talk about this somewhere else?” he asked, jerking his head in Draco’s direction.

“Oh please, don’t mind me,” Draco drawled. He moved out from behind the bench, made a little exit bow and started to leave.

“Wait, don’t go!” Ginny said quickly. “We haven’t worked on the surprise song yet.”

“A surprise song? What’s the occasion?” Charlie asked.

“It’s a surprise, Lovett. You do know what ‘surprise’ means, don’t you?” Draco asked, strolling back toward the piano.

“Yeah, Charlie, it’s a secret. Would you mind giving us about twenty minutes? I’ll meet you back up in the common room and we can work on those Charms practice N.E.W.Ts.”

Charlie looked confused for a moment, but he shook it off. “Sure thing, Gin. Don’t be too long though.” He smiled at her and then left Ginny alone with Draco.

As soon as Charlie left the room, the piano disappeared as did the chair from earlier and the rug on the floor, leaving absolutely nothing except Draco and Ginny. Ginny felt like her nerves were going to do her in right then and there before she even got a chance to say anything. But she stood firm.

I am an empowered young woman. I made a mistake and I am now going to atone for it. But, then a mean voice spoke up. Was it really a mistake, Ginevra? Ginny shut her eyes tightly – of course it was a mistake. Besides the fact that it was the most amazing feeling she had ever experienced in her entire life, it was a mistake.

“Draco, I--”

“Did you do that on purpose?” he asked, an edge tainting the evenness in his tone.


“You heard me, Weasley. Did you do it on purpose? Did you bring that little tosser here on purpose? Did you intend to dangle him in front of my face?”

“No – I just--”

“So it’s that you just don’t trust yourself alone with big bad Draco Malfoy, is it? Think I’ll try to bewitch you into shagging me?”

Ginny avoided his eyes, but shook her head no, essentially confirming that that was in fact the exact reason she had brought Charlie with her that day.

Draco smirked evilly. He backed away slightly so that he was leaning casually against the wall. “Hit it right on the button, haven’t I?”

“Draco, you’re being unfair,” Ginny said quietly, not looking up at him.

“Unfair? Unfair? Life is unfair, Weasel. You can’t just run around doing as you please because there isn’t always going to be someone to pick up the pieces.”

Tears started to form in Ginny’s eyes. She willed herself not to cry, begged herself not to cry, but they started to fall slowly down her cheeks. She reached out slowly, aching to touch him again. It had felt so good before; it had even seemed to make him feel better. His hands balled into fists and he turned around so that he didn’t have to see her.

“Don’t touch me. I can’t hate you if you touch me,” he said, his voice choked…strangled somehow. Ginny had never heard anything like that ever come from Draco. This was Draco Malfoy – strong, impenetrable. What had she done to him? The ache in his tone only made her tears fall harder.

Draco ran his hands up the wall and rested his forehead against it. He could feel the headache and fever returning even worse than before. But he couldn’t let her see it.

What did I do? How did this happen? How could I have done this to him? Ginny’s mind was racing with terrible thoughts. She didn’t understand how she could have been so blind to it all.

“I think we’re done here, Weasley,” he said, recovering himself. He turned around to face her again, and Ginny could see his fever shining brightly in his eyes again. His face and neck were flushed, and she glimpsed tears in the outer corners of his eyes. She reached out to touch him.

“Don’t touch me. I said we’re done here,” he said with obvious effort. He looked as though he wanted nothing more than to touch her. But, he turned on his heel and started towards the door.

He hadn’t walked more than three steps when he suddenly sank to his knees with a strangled cry of pain. He sprawled out on the floor, eyes fluttering as he tried to focus on something. Ginny ran up to him and knelt down quickly beside him again. “Go – get – Severus,” he hissed between wracking shivers. Ginny didn’t need another word.

She ran into the hallway and started sprinting toward the teacher’s quarters. She wasn’t sure what time it was, but she figured someone would be there and would be able to find Snape for her. Luckily, Snape was on patrol that night, so she ran headlong into him when she rounded the corner. He knocked her soundly to the ground, but she barely felt it. She just stood up quickly again.

“Professor, it’s Draco, he’s sick, you have to help him!” she gasped out. Snape looked at her darkly, but hurried after her as she ran back to the Room of Requirement. He opened the door and seeing Draco passed out on the floor, immediately conjured a stretcher, levitated it, and brought Draco to the Hospital Wing.

Ginny shoved herself into the Wing after Snape and took a seat next to the bed Snape put Draco in. Not caring who saw or what might happen, she took Draco’s hand in hers. She didn’t notice as Madam Pomfrey came running out of her quarters in her dressing gown, nor did she pay any attention as Snape took the frantic medi-witch by her arm and dragged her into her office. After a few moments, the two emerged, Poppy looking only slightly grim and Snape with a full-fledged smirk on his face. Ginny did notice, however, when Snape started to leave the room.

“Where are you going? Is no one going to fix him?” she said, almost hysterically.

Snape stared at her with a look of amusement in his normally stoic eyes, but he did not answer. Pomfrey huffed impatiently, but started looking through her stores for a fever reduction potion – not that it would particularly do much good.

“Do you think that this is funny, Snape?”

“10 points from Gryffindor for your impertinence, Miss Weasley,” he said, the trace of amusement still readily apparent. He walked over to Ginny in the chair. “He’ll be all right.”

Ginny, not letting go of Draco’s hand, reached out with her other hand to grab Snape’s arm. “You’re his godfather, aren’t you going to do something?” she asked, incredulously.

Snape raised a knowing eyebrow and said, “If you’ll kindly let go my arm, I will be able to retrieve the antidote that much more quickly, Miss Weasley.”

Ginny let him go and returned her gaze to Draco. He looked so pathetic; his body was still shaking and his eyes were shut tight against the fever. And yet, Ginny still could not ignore the pins and needles in her hand.

Snape paused in the doorway. “Miss Weasley, if I am correct in my assumption that you planning on staying here until I return, I might suggest you make yourself useful.”

“What can I do?” she asked petulantly. Then she looked around and noticed that Pomfrey had disappeared. “Where the bloody hell did Pomfrey go?”

“No need for language, Miss Weasley. If you’d rather he continue to suffer, I can just stand here until your childish tone disappears long enough for me to explain.”

She sighed. “What can I do?”

“Get into the bed and hold him. I’ll be along in a minute.” He swept out of the room before she had a chance to answer.

Ginny was thunderstruck. What on earth could that possibly do? It was positively indecent and coming as a suggestion from Snape no less? However, none of the thoughts in her rational brain seemed to matter, as within seconds, Ginny found herself laying in the bed, Draco fitting perfectly up against her with his arms around her stomach. She let out a long shuddering breath. She was wholly on fire.


Note: Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) belongs to Cole Porter.
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