A/N – AH! Great news!!! I got hired on as a reporter for my local newspaper! I prefer novel/fiction writing to journalism, of course, but a job in any kind of writing is still pretty exciting, so I’m optimistic haha.

Unfortunately, between the new job and school I’ve been a bit hard-pressed, as you can tell by how long this chapter took, but I’ll try to keep it fairly speedy in the future. Sorry about this or any forthcoming delays.


- - - - -

Chapter 24 — Unthinking

Naomi Lawson struggled against the morning sunshine, bright even against closed lids, but eventually lost. With a sigh of regret she opened her eyes and, for a moment, forgot where she was. She gazed around at the charming interior, became aware of the body lying next to her, and remembered everything as sleep’s fog lifted away. Jon. The villa in Italy. Right.

Pulling the blankets higher up under her chin, she turned on her side to stare at Jon, a little smile stealing across her lips. She really did love him, loved his exaggerated features and the unkempt fall of his sandy hair and even his Slytherin wiles. Perhaps most of all his Slytherin wiles. She wondered if he would believe that after…Naomi gave a mental shake of her head. Dangerous thoughts.

“You know, it’s rude to stare,” Jon muttered, face not changing by a degree.

Naomi smiled. “How do you know I’m staring?”

His hazel eyes flicked open, so deceptively friendly, glittering happily now. “I could feel it.”

She smiled again, not doubting that a second. She lifted her finger and traced the side of his throat. “How’d you sleep?”

He lifted his hands above his head in a huge stretch. “Mmm, pretty good, actually. Still too early though. You?”

“Same.” Naomi hesitated. “Still waking up, then?”

He nodded, letting his eyes fall shut again.

“How about I go down and explore the nearest village and pick out a nice little spot for breakfast,” she suggested. “By the time I come back you can be all wide awake and ready to go.”

He sighed. “No, that’s all right, I can drag myself out of bed.”

Naomi pushed him back firmly. “I insist. I wanted to do a little exploring anyways, so just take your time waking up, and I’ll be back in awhile. Okay?”

Jon’s eyelids were already drooping closed again. “Are you sure?”

“Positive.” She eased her way out from beneath the blankets, arranging them closely around Jon again before tip-toeing out of the room. She slipped into the loo to cast a few quick freshen-up charms, changed into a set of robes, and walked out into the kitchen.

She didn’t walk out the door. Instead, she craned her neck back behind her, making sure Jon wasn’t coming, then when she was satisfied, turned to the hearth, grabbed up a good fistful of Floo powder, tossed it in, and as loud as she dared, murmured, “Malfoy Manor.”

She felt herself whisked away in a blaze of emerald fire, and then she was stumbling out of a grand, black marble fireplace, echoing halls with floors and walls of a similar make-up leading into vaulted ceilings all around her. The House Elves kept everything polished so that every surface became a mirror, reflecting only vaguely distorted images as through a dark glass. It all spoke of exquisite taste and wealth and high class…and it was so very, very cold, Naomi thought.

A House Elf cracked into the space before her, giving a low bow. “Master says to bring Ms. Lawson to his study,” it told her somberly in its high, rasping voice.

She wondered if the creature used to smile. “All right.”

Walking into Malfoy Manor felt like being swallowed whole, a vague sense of entrapment falling over her so that she had to fight the urge to turn around and run. She asked herself what the hell she was doing here, but then, she knew the answer to that.

Everyone’s got a little Slytherin running through his or her veins, dear. Even you.

He had the right of it, she knew. He always had the right of it, damn the man. God, she hated him.

But she had no other choice.

The House Elf stopped in front of an innately carved ebon wood door inlaid with silver accents. Real silver, of course. The tiny thing gave a timid knock.

His cold, indifferent voice floated through the thick wood. “Enter.”

Naomi walked inside the study, the dim glow of a lamp giving the whole room a crimson tinge. Even his pale skin and white-blond hair took on the blood-colored cast, and she found herself thinking, Now all he needs is horns and a pitchfork.

“Naomi.” His voice remained as flat as always, like he thought her little better than some boring insect.

“Lucius,” she answered tightly, moving uninvited into the seat opposite his massive desk. Ebon wood, of course.

Back ramrod straight, Lucius Malfoy folded his long-fingered hands on the desktop and regarded her through piercing gray eyes. “It’s been a few days since you last checked in. I was beginning to worry.”

She wanted to laugh. Worry, her arse. “Jon brought me to Italy.”

One perfectly shaped eyebrow lifted. “Italy?”

“He has a villa there.”

Lucius seemed to consider this a moment, then a slow smile stretched his thin lips. “Oh, right. The hilltop villa in Italy. Acquiring that little spoil of war was a bloody business, as I recall. Or, so I’ve heard. I wasn’t actually there when Pierce murdered the previous owner.”

Naomi blinked, going a little stiff in the chair and struggling to keep hidden any further outward signs that this news came as a surprise. She didn’t want to give this man any ammo. But it did shock her. She knew Jon had killed since their separation, he’d freely told her as much. Still…hearing it always cut through her as sure as any dagger.

Lucius unthreaded his fingers, tapping at the desk impatiently. “Well? Any progress?”

She shook her head. “I thought I got close the other day, but as soon as he realized I was serious…well, he got a little angry. He said he would consider it, but….”

“But you don’t think he will.”

Naomi shrugged. “I can’t say for sure, but like he said…it’s treason against You-Know-Who. You would have to be mad.”

“I seem to remember you assuring me he was mad about you.”

“He is,” she quickly assured him. She couldn’t let him doubt her usefulness, not even for a second. “But he’s also not an idiot. Time, that’s all I need. Just a little more. I know I can convince him to leave, and then you can be back at You-Know-Who’s right hand. I just need time.”

Lucius examined his nails. “I’ve given you ample time already, Naomi my dear. Is it motivation you require? Perhaps I should cut off one of little Ben’s fingers.”

“No!” Her knuckles went white around the arms of her chair. “Soon. I swear it will be soon. Just…please. Please don’t hurt Ben.”

Lucius studied her a moment. Suddenly he lifted one of those elegant, manicured hands and snapped his fingers. Almost instantly, a House Elf cracked into the room.

“Master.” It bowed so low it looked like it was trying to kiss its own knobby knees.

“Fetch young Master Benjamin from his rooms,” he instructed airily. When the Elf didn’t move immediately, he added, voice soft as velvet, “Now.”

The thing sprinted from the room so fast that the lines of its body seemed to blur.

Naomi hardly noticed. Her brain had stopped functioning after the words “fetch young Master Benjamin.” She hadn’t seen her son in months. Lucius had never let her before. Now she could hardly breathe at the prospect of it.

It took an eternity for the House Elf to return, or maybe only seconds; it felt like both. All she knew was that when that door opened again, her baby boy was standing in the doorway, brown hair tousled and eyes wide with fright.

“Ben!” she cried, nearly falling in her haste to get out of the chair.

When he saw her his eyes went even wider, and with a shout of, “Mummy!,” he dashed towards her even as she ran to meet him, so that when they met, it nearly knocked the air out of both of them. It was the most beautiful feeling Naomi had ever experienced, and falling to her knees, she only crushed him all the tighter to her.

“Oh, Ben, Ben, Ben,” she sobbed into his neck, pressing kisses all over his beautiful, perfect head. “My poor, poor baby. Are you all right? Did they hurt you?” She held him out, critical eyes searching over every visible inch of him.

He shook his head, tears standing in his eyes. “I’m okay,” he told her, forcing out a tremulous smile.

She pulled him close again, holding on as tight as she could. “Oh, my brave little boy,” she whispered. “Mummy missed you so much.”

“How touching,” Lucius drawled, standing and walking round to face Naomi. “I almost regret breaking up this little reunion.”

She lifted her face out of Ben’s hair and glared at him. “What do you mean?”

Lucius snapped his fingers again. “Take the boy,” he ordered the House Elf.

“No!” Naomi shrieked, refusing to let the Elf take Ben until the thing stung her hands with some spell. With a pained cry, she slackened her grip by reflex. It was only for a second, but it was long enough for the surprisingly strong House Elf to tear Ben from her grasp.

Lucius walked over and snatched Ben roughly by the wrist, yanking the boy in front of him like a rag doll. Still on the ground, Naomi reached for her wand, deciding she was going to kill the bastard and damn all the consequences in the world, but he stopped her by raising his own wand to her son’s temple.

“Ah, ah. Be good now, Naomi. Wouldn’t want an accident, would we? Magic really is so volatile.”

Ben was whimpering, visibly shaking as he struggled not to move. Slowly, eyes emanating loathing like she’d never felt before, she moved both her hands to where they were visible.

“Excellent. Now, listen closely. You have one month to persuade him. Just one month more. If not,” Lucius wrenched up one of Ben’s arms, “see this cute little hand? All those pudgy little fingers? If you take even one day too long, I’m going to give you this cute little hand all wrapped up in a box.” Lucius threw down Ben’s arm with such force that the little boy stumbled to the ground, sobbing quietly.

“Ben,” Naomi choked, tears transforming the room into a reddish blur.

“Do you understand?” Lucius demanded harshly.

She hung her head, grinding her teeth together and digging her nails into her palm hard enough to draw blood. “Yes.”

“What was that?”

“I said yes, you bastard!” she shouted, eyes flashing with hate.

Lucius smirked. “Now, that wasn’t very nice.” He glanced to his House Elf. “Hit him.”

Before Naomi’s horrified mind could fully wrap around that, the Elf had stepped up, round eyes clearly tortured by the command, and delivered Ben a stinging slap.

“Ben!” She tried to crawl over to him, but Lucius pushed her back with the toe of his boot, sending her sprawling onto her back.

“Now, I’ll ask again. Do you understand the terms, Naomi?”

Naomi cried silently, eyes fixed on her son, so small in this huge, cruel place. “Yes…sir.”

Lucius gave a satisfied nod and waved his hand towards Ben. The House Elf immediately jumped and lifted her son to his feet, herding him out of the room. Naomi watched her world disappear behind a door, feeling everything in her threaten to fall apart. The only thing holding her together was the hope that she could save Ben.

“You’re free to go,” Lucius told her, demeanor bored and bland once more as if they’d just conducted a very dull business meeting. “I trust you remember the way.” He sat behind his desk, took out a piece of parchment, and began scratching away as if she had already left.

Naomi stayed on the floor a long time, numbly staring at the door, then without saying a word, she got up and walked out of the room. Walking towards freedom should have felt like just that. But she only felt like she was being swallowed all over again.

She stopped at the fireplace and gazed at it for several minutes, trying to get her jumble of thoughts in order long enough to remember what she was supposed to do next. Just as the words “Floo powder” had passed through her conscious and she began to decipher what exactly they meant, the flames turned brilliant green, and Severus Snape stepped out of them.

He looked startled, onyx eyes blinking a few times behind a curtain of greasy hair. “Oh…excuse me Madam,” he mumbled, almost grudgingly. “I hadn’t realized…” he trailed off, eyes narrowing and shoulders squaring off. “Lawson? Naomi Lawson?”

Naomi felt her stomach twist in on itself and it was all she could do to keep from turning the opposite direction and running. Snape used to know about her and Jon, and far as she knew, they were still friends. Oh, not good, not good, not goo —

“Interesting place to bump into you, Lawson,” he snarled, taking a menacing step forward. “I knew it,” he muttered, apparently to himself. “I tried to tell him.”

Then Naomi made one desperate attempt to escape. She started to dart past him, hand straining for the pot of Floo powder, damning Lucius for his bloody apparating wards, but she didn’t make it. Snape snatched her wrist and pulled her back against him, hooking his other arm around her waist to pin her against his chest and stop her struggling.

“So, spying for Lucius, are we? Should’ve guessed that.”

“It’s not like that!” Naomi cried, twisting in vain in his cold, bony grip. Was Jon the only Death Eater with a pulse? He was always so warm…

“Of course it isn’t.” He swung them around, tucking her more securely under one arm as he reached for the Floo powder.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, growing frantic.

“Lucius didn’t know I was coming, so I’ve got time to spare, and a cozy little dungeon room for you at my home.”

“No!” she screamed, kicking and flailing with all she was worth, but the thin man had a shockingly strong hold. “You can’t! My son! Oh, God, please,” she started choking on sobs, “my son….”

He actually paused then. “What?”

She sucked in a big breath of air, grabbing on to the wisp of hope he just gave her. “Lucius has my son. If you lock me away somewhere…he might think I ran. I…I don’t know what he’ll do to my son. Please…I-I’m begging you. Severus, please….”

He turned her about roughly and locked black, shadowed eyes on hers for several seconds. Then he shook his head. “I don’t believe you. Remarkable acting, though. You should have gone into theatre.” And his hand scooped out a fistful of Floo powder.

Naomi struggled wildly then, shrieking for help, calling for Lucius, for a House Elf for anyone. Her shouts echoed around in the marble halls and bounced back to her like a slap in the face.

But nobody came, and her world faded away in a whirl of green flame and the words, “Snape Estate.”

- - - - -

Ginny got up with a catlike stretch. “I’ve been sitting too long,” she announced to her parents, both sitting in the living room. “I’m going to go get a sandwich or something and walk around.”

Molly nodded. “Just be sure to be back by supper. The twins are having us over at the shop, remember.”

Ginny grimaced. “How could I forget? Remind me again why they’re not coming over here for Christmas Eve dinner?”

“Oh, be quiet. They wanted to show off all the improvements they’ve been making to their shop, and you haven’t seen any of your brothers this whole time, so you’ll go and you’ll smile about it.”

Ginny muttered to herself all the way to the kitchen, slapping together a couple sandwiches, wrapping them up and hiding one under her heavy jacket. She again gave thanks to the weather which mandated she wear such big coats and gave her a way to smuggle Draco’s food.

“I’ll be back,” she called as she slammed out the back door into the yard.

This whole thing had been working wonderfully so far. Well, Draco complained far too much about the indignity of a treehouse, and that his food was often cold by the time it got to him, but aside from that, everything was going according to plan, much to Ginny’s relief.

Ginny reached the treehouse and summoned down the ladder, cramming her sandwich into a pocket as she started climbing. She emerged into the little space to find Draco sitting on the floor, his back against the wall and an outdated magazine open on his bent knee.

“What’s that?” she asked. She was a little disappointed when he didn’t even flinch. One of these days, she promised herself, she was going to sneak up on him unawares.

“Quidditch rag,” he answered with a shrug.

She smiled as she plopped down next to him. “Kind of old, isn’t it? Where’d you find it?”

“Under the bed. I probably read it before, but if I did, I’ve forgotten by now.” He let it fall shut and tossed it across the room. “Of course, surprise, surprise, it’s all about the Chudley Canons’ big victory in the Quidditch World Cup.”

Ginny giggled. “Here,” she handed him his sandwich and took out her own.

He regarded it skeptically. “You know, I miss the days when I got a meal that hadn’t been smashed all to hell in someone’s coat pocket.”

“Hush up, or soon you’ll be missing the days when you got a meal at all.”

“You’re enjoying this power,” he observed, taking a bite out of the sandwich.

“I am, actually,” she admitted with a sweet smile. She pulled out a packet of crisps and tossed them over to him. “Here, you can have these too, since I’m sure you’ll still be hungry after that.”

He nodded gratefully and ripped open the bag. “So, your father do anything to make your mum hex him today?”

She smiled, taking a bite of sandwich. She’d been regaling Draco with tales of her parents’ antics the past few days, and she got the feeling they actually entertained him. “No, not today. I do have to go see the twins, though. They’ve got it in their heads to host the Christmas Eve supper this year. Merlin only knows why.”

Draco just smirked at her.

She punched his arm. “Oh, shove off, or I’ll risk the Polyjuice running out and invite ‘Lizzy’ to come.”

“I think Lizzy has other plans.”

“I think Lizzy will change her plans if she doesn’t want to starve.”

He rolled his eyes. “Draco thinks you’re a sadistic, manipulative bint.”

Ginny laughed. “I think you’re confusing us.”

He shrugged, taking another bite out of his sandwich.

Ginny followed suit, letting her eyes roam around the room. She glanced over at Draco and smiled.

He caught her looking and raised an eyebrow, swallowing down his current bite. “What?”

She shook her head. “Nothing, just thinking how mad this all is. That you’re here, I mean. Ron would have a conniption if he knew.”

Draco smirked. “If you ever tell him, can I watch?”

She laughed, then let out a contented sigh, slouching down comfortably against the wall. “Just all of this is unbelievable. I mean, not just you being here now, but all of it. Especially Pierce. It’s so backwards that you’re the one avoiding the Mark and he’s the one that’s got it.”

Draco finished his lunch and slid his back down the wall a ways, letting his head lean against the wood and as he closed his eyes. “Mmm.”

Ginny was quiet a moment. “Draco…I’ve been thinking, and I kind of realized something last night.”

“What’s that?” he asked, folding his hands over his stomach, looking for all the world like he was about to drift into an afternoon nap.

“When we go back to Hogwarts…well, how are you going to go back? Pansy’s going to want to know what happened to you.”

A grim, not-quite smile pulled at his lips. “Finally thought of that, did you?”

Ginny furrowed her eyebrows. “What?”

He sighed. “I knew I couldn’t go back from the start. I thought of the Pansy issue as soon as you suggested this inane scheme.”

“But…then why…?”

“I reviewed my options, and despite that one little complication, this was still the best one.”

Ginny felt herself growing angry. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

He still had his eyes closed as he gave a shrug. “I knew you would obsess over it, and I didn’t want to ruin your hols.”

“Oh my goodness, Draco! This is the same problem we had with you almost getting forced into initiation, remember? You need to tell me things like this! I thought we agreed on that.”

He gave a non-committal grunt.

She rolled her eyes. “You’re hopeless. And I wouldn’t exactly call this a ‘little’ complication. You do realize that when I go back, no one will sneak you food.”

“I didn’t say I wasn’t going back on the train.”


“I’m going back. I’m just not going back to the castle.”

“And where exactly do you plan on staying, then? If you’re thinking the Three Broomsticks or something, you’ll get caught in a day.”

He rolled his head to the side to look at her. “Remember when I took you to that old abandoned shack in Hogsmeade? The one I said used to be my hideaway as a kid?”

Ginny understood his meaning immediately. “You’re going to hide in a shack?”

“Until I think of something better.”


“Can you think of something else?” he demanded.

Ginny bit her lip. “No.”

“Didn’t think so.”

She drew her knees up to her chest. “How will you get off the train without someone seeing, though?”

“I’ll make sure and show up to breakfast as ‘Lizzy’ a little late so that I won’t have to use anymore than an hour, maybe an hour and a half of Polyjuice. We’ll keep the compartment door and the curtain shut, plus a locking charm to make sure no one barges in, and then I’ll take the rest of the Polyjuice before getting off.”

“What about eating? You can’t exactly waltz through Hogsmeade for a spot of shopping, even if you still had the money to do that. Someone would snitch on you for sure.”

He looked at her frankly. “I was hoping you could help me there.”

Ginny shook her head. “Oh, no. There’s no way I’m sneaking down to Hogsmeade three times a day to feed you. It’s hard enough doing that here, at my own house when you’re just out back!”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Obviously you wouldn’t do that. Just get together enough food for about a week, stuff that won’t spoil right away, and bring it all at once, like every Saturday or something. Or every other Saturday, even, if the food you filch will keep that long.”

“I don’t know…”

“Ginny.” He said her name softly, voice gentle in a way she’d never heard before. She looked up at him, and their eyes met. “Please. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t have anyone else to turn to. I need you, Ginny…again.” He smiled ruefully, but his eyes reflected the seriousness of his request.

Ginny tore her gaze away from his with an effort. “Bloody manipulative Slytherin git,” she muttered.

Draco chuckled. “I take that as a yes?”

“You couldn’t just…I don’t know. Go to the Order or something? McGonagall, maybe?”

“After what I did? Be realistic.”

Ginny frowned. “They might listen…”

“Or they might decide I’d make a brilliant hostage.”

“I think you’re being a bit dramatic.”

“I think I’m being honest. This is war, Ginny. Even the good guys play dirty. You just don’t hear about that because the good guys are the ones who tell the story afterwards.”

Ginny was silent a long time. “It’s not fair,” she said at last.

“What isn’t?”

She shifted around on her knees to face him, her shoulder to the wall. “You’re doing the right thing! You shouldn’t have to hide in some shack! You should be getting help…or recognition…or something. But people will never see you that way. They’ll only think you’re bad, and…and it’s not right!”

Draco smiled faintly. “That bothers you?”

“Yes, it bothers me!”


She opened her mouth, then let it close again. She shook her head slowly. “I just wish people saw the side of you that I see now.”

His eyes searched hers. “And what side is that?”

She sat back on her feet, soaking in the sight he made as he reclined against the wall, regarding her through a platinum fringe that could do with a trim. “The one that knows it’s not perfect. You don’t try to save the world or go off and be a hero, but you’re still fighting. In your own way. And I think…I think that’s something to respect.”

His eyes seemed to grow more intense, gray gaze locking onto hers and refusing to let go. Ginny had to think very hard about breathing, for some reason. “I thought you liked heroes.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Isn’t that what you fancy Potter?”

Ginny wanted to look away then, out of shame or embarrassment or maybe something else, she didn’t know. But his eyes refused to let her go. She wished she could read the expression in them. It was something…something.

“That’s not why I fancied Harry.” She considered telling him she didn’t fancy him at all anymore, but decided against it. Discussing her love life with Draco just didn’t feel right.

“Then why?”

“I…I don’t know.” And Ginny realized it was true. She didn’t seem to know how she felt about anything anymore, everything was so muddled up, and Merlin, but it terrified her. “Draco?” she asked suddenly. “Are you afraid?”

He studied her a moment, curious. “Afraid?”

She nodded. “Because I am. Afraid of this war, afraid for my brother…afraid for you.” She laughed, except it came out more like a sob. “How barmy is that? A Weasley losing sleep over a Malfoy?”

He didn’t smile, and he never blinked. Keeping those mercurial eyes focused on hers alone, as if nothing else in the world even existed, he reached out and took one of her hands. “It doesn’t make you weak, you know.”

She blinked away the tears that threatened to fall. “What?”

“That you’re scared. It doesn’t make you any less brave. I know that’s what you’re really worried about. That you’re letting everyone down by not being strong or some rubbish like that.” Ginny bit her lip, realizing he had guessed correctly, even if she hadn’t realized it. “But if you weren’t scared, there wouldn’t be any need for courage, would there? And that you can admit it just makes you that much stronger.”

She forced out a shaky smile. “You think I’m strong?”

A corner of his mouth lifted, even though his eyes kept on burning into hers, feeling like they were laying her bare. “I know it. Elsewise you’d have been in Slytherin for sure, you conniving vixen.” She laughed, squeezing the hand that still held hers. “But you had too much guts. We Slytherins tend to lack that quality of derring-do, if you hadn’t noticed.”

“I don’t know. You’ve been pretty daring lately.”

“Ah, but only for self-interest. Self-preservation is entirely different.”

“What you did for me, to protect me from Pansy I mean, that wasn’t self-interest,” she pointed out.

He looked away then, and oddly enough, it left Ginny feeling a little colder, and a lot less safe. “No,” he agreed.

Now that she was on the topic, Ginny couldn’t just let it go that easily. “You never told me why you did do it.”

His eyes drifted slowly back to hers. He was quiet for so long she’d decided he wasn’t going to answer when he said quietly, “I guess I figured you were worth breaking tradition for. Just this once.”

Ginny stared at him, stared at those eyes and their indecipherable message, so vivid and almost desperate, like he was silently begging her to understand. “You never answered me,” she softly reminded him. “You never told me if you were afraid.”

He just kept on looking at her for a long while. Then: “Yes. I’m scared. Scared to die, scared of my father, scared of the Dark Lord, scared…well, I’m scared of a lot of things.”

“How do you deal with it?”

His mouth tilted in a grim smile. “The only thing anyone can do. I just live. I do what I have to, and I hope one day things stop being so damned scary.”

For a long time they sat locked in an unspoken staring contest, and Ginny felt something like a vague sense of vertigo, like the whole world was falling away leaving just the two of them. And then without ever making any conscious decision to do it, she put her hands on his shoulders, leaned forward, and covered his mouth with hers.

It took exactly one second for the horrifying realization of what she’d done to sink in, but the moment she made to jerk away, Draco’s hand flashed up faster than she’d ever seen it move for any Snitch and clamped around the back of her neck, holding her tight. And then he kissed her back.

Oh, this was wrong. So, so, so wrong that it should feel so amazing. She could feel his breath warmly mingling with hers, mouth frantic and demanding at first, but slowing when he realized she wasn’t trying to get away, carefully easing his lips over hers, pulling away briefly but always returning. She dug her fingers into his shoulders, trying to stay upright in the face of the dizzying assault on her senses. Anything that felt this good had to be a sin, but Ginny didn’t think she could stop even if it was damming her.

Draco slid the hand on her neck up under her hair, angling her head so he could deepen the kiss, each one lasting longer now, growing more intense, and she could feel a slow, hot thrum building low in her stomach. But then his other hand went around her waist, pulling her down onto his lap, and some part of Ginny’s brain seemed to switch back on.

She pushed against his shoulders with a gasp, wrenching away and leaving Draco looking a little dazed and very confused. She stared at him for a beat longer, unable to believe what they’d just done, what she’d just done, what she’d just felt.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. Then she struggled off his lap and fled, going down the ladder and running all the way back to the house. Except…she couldn’t figure out what exactly she was running from. Only that it was huge, and if she didn’t want it changing her completely, she had better keep on running.

- - - - -

A/N – Well…you probably actually liked me! …There for a second, anyway, haha. *wanders off whistling innocently*
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