Acting on a Moment by Boogum
Past Featured StorySummary: Ginny Weasley was on a mission: get Draco Malfoy's attention or die trying. She would prefer to skip the dying part, though…

Acting on a Moment
Awarded Featured Author of June (2011) by The Review Society | Banner by Incognito

Categories: Long and Completed Characters: Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, Other Characters
Compliant with: GoF and below
Era: Hogwarts-era
Genres: Humor, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 4 Completed: Yes Word count: 12740 Read: 25072 Published: Oct 30, 2009 Updated: Nov 09, 2009
Story Notes:
This was written for scubarang’s prompt in the DG Forum Fic Exchange - Summer 09. It won ‘Best Chaptered Fic’, ‘Best Characterisation of Ginny’, and ‘Best Fluff Scene’. Thanks to all who supported my little fic, and thanks to scubarang for making such a cute prompt for me to write.

1. The Day That Ginny Weasley Was Hit With A Brick by Boogum

2. The Day That Ginny Weasley Became A Prostitute by Boogum

3. The Day That Ginny Weasley Caught The Wrong Fish by Boogum

4. The Day That Ginny Weasley Got Her Wish by Boogum

The Day That Ginny Weasley Was Hit With A Brick by Boogum
Every girl has her moment: the moment where she suddenly realises that this is the one. Ginny Weasley knew exactly when her moment would happen. It would happen the day that she looked into Harry Potter’s bottle-green eyes for the first time. It would be a magical moment, a perfect moment…

Except, it never came.

Of course, she blamed him for ruining it. It wasn’t her fault that she hadn’t realised who he was when he had appeared before her ten-year-old self at King’s Cross. It was clearly his fault. He should have been wearing a name-badge or a big sign that said “Hero Who Killed You-Know-Who”. But he hadn’t been wearing any badges or signs, and she had looked into his vibrant green eyes and had felt nothing. Not one measly thing.

It was quite annoying, really. She had waited with anticipation for that moment for years and years, and then he had to go and ruin it all by appearing unannounced like that. Really, it was enough to make her quite hate him.

But Ginny had not been perturbed by this setback. She knew that her moment would come. It was only a matter of time now. After all, she had already planned their wedding and had taken the effort to draw what their children (ten in total) would look like. The drawings didn’t look like anything except blobs and sticks, but it was the thought that counts, after all, and no one could say that she hadn’t put thought into it.

Neither could anyone accuse her of not trying to further things with the boy in question. Hadn’t she laboured over a poem dedicated to his heroic beauty, even taking the pains to make it rhyme? How many other eleven-year-olds were there that could make ‘blackboard’ rhyme with ‘Dark Lord’, and have the right amount of syllables in each line to make it flow perfectly? She thought it was quite well done of her, if she did say so herself, but the star of her masterpiece hadn’t seemed to notice that. He never noticed anything.

And then the whole disaster with the Chamber of Secrets had happened. She had thought that maybe then her moment would come. It would have been perfect, for though she had been very upset and frightened at the time, he had just saved her life. You couldn’t get much more romantic than that. It was just like in the romance books—her own little version of the damsel in distress being saved by the hero—but nothing had happened then, either. She’d only felt the same old feelings that she’d always felt for him.

That was when she began to wonder if her ‘moment’ capabilities were malfunctioning. There was no excuse as to why she could not realise that Harry Potter was the one for her. He should be the one, he had to be the one, but another year went down the track, and she was still waiting for that special realisation.

And then it happened. She finally had her moment, except it wasn’t with Harry Potter. No, it was with a completely different boy; a boy with piercing, grey eyes and a sharp tongue that had reduced her to tears more than once. It was ridiculous, unfathomable—nay, a very blasphemy to love itself, but it had happened, and there was no question that it had happened with him.

Ginny had just been sitting in her usual spot in the library, vaguely trying to remember what the name of the book was that she needed for her essay on moonstones, when her eyes happened to fall on a certain blond sitting at another table. He was laughing with his friends about something—what it was she couldn’t say—but then he seemed to feel her eyes upon him and glanced her way. He stared at her for a moment, his eyes (she would later describe) beautiful in their unique shade of grey, and then a smile tugged at his lips.

He was transformed in that moment. She forgot about his cruelty, his sneers and his glares, and all those other nasty things that usually characterised him. All she could see was that smile: that rare, entrancing smile.

Cupid then picked up a hefty brick labelled ‘moment’ and threw it right at her head. Or, at least, that’s what it felt like the little beast with wings had done, for she was certainly shocked by the blunt realisation that this was the moment she had been waiting for, not to mention suspiciously disorientated.

Later she would discover that the blond had not been smiling at her at all. In fact, he had been smiling at the buxom brunette sitting directly behind her, but it would be too late to retract the moment by then. The damage had already been done. She was in love with Draco Malfoy, and there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that could stop them from coming together.

She would make sure of that.
End Notes:
So, this is the prologue to the story, and that is why it is a bit short. The next chapter will be much longer. :)
The Day That Ginny Weasley Became A Prostitute by Boogum
The first encounter did not go well. Ginny had waited for her chance to get the blond alone, stalking him whenever she could in between classes and breaks, until finally, almost a week later, she was granted the happy delight of seeing Crabbe and Goyle take a respite from their duties as loyal minions. Draco had continued on by himself down the hallway and entered a room on her left.

Too excited at the thought of finally getting an opportunity to talk to the boy of her heart, Ginny had barged right on through the door after him, not even bothering to pay attention to what room it was that he had just entered. She had caught a glimpse of a row of cubicles, a urinal, and then a dry voice had interrupted her horrified musings with one cutting sentence:

“Are you here to get your kicks out of perving on boys taking a piss, or are you really just that stupid? Because you may not have noticed, Weasley, but this is the boys’ bathroom.”

Her response had been quite predictable. She’d flushed to the roots of her hair, mumbled something unintelligible that might have been an apology, and then fled from the toilets as fast as her legs could carry her. She hadn’t cried, though it was true that she had been mortified. What thirteen-year-old girl wouldn’t after having her crush say that to her after she had just walked in on him about to go toilet?

It was too embarrassing, but even worse was the fact that he had teased her about it later. Ginny knew, then, that she had to do something to make him view her as more than just the girl who had walked in on him in the boys’ bathroom. It was true that she had been trying to get his attention, but being the butt of his jokes was definitely not the attention that she had been going for. She wanted him to fall in love with her, not tease her about whether she was really a girl or not underneath those baggy clothes of hers, and had just been pretending all along to be a female in order to differentiate herself from her twenty-odd brothers...

Yes, it was time for action. It was time for Ginny Weasley to prove that she was indeed a girl.

XtXtX


One day, several hours and three not-so-stealthy stealing attempts later, Ginny sat on her bed with a collection of ‘borrowed’ magazines surrounding her. Growing up with six older brothers had its bonuses when it came to defending oneself in a fist-fight and how to play Quidditch, but it did have its downside when it came to winning a boy’s heart through the means of feminine charm.

The blunt truth was that Ginny had no feminine charm. Her uniform resembled a potato sack, and the only grace she had was the grace to admit that she had none. She wasn’t a complete tomboy—her mother had made sure of that—but it was true that she had no idea of where to begin in proving to Draco Malfoy that she was not only a girl underneath the sack, but also a very attractive and desirable girl.

That was why she needed the magazines. Ginny had read enough romance books and fairytales to know that undergoing a makeover would not only transform her from ugly duckling to swan, but would also make the boy of her dreams fall instantly in love with her. It was a foolproof plan, tried and tested by fictional heroines all over the world, and it would surely work for her. She just needed to figure out how to go about it.

A frown twisted her lips as she flicked through the pages of the glossy magazines. There was no way that she would be able to get her hands on any of these clothes, but there seemed to be a general trend in all of the pictures. Ginny was sure that she could imitate it in her own way.

She stood up from the bed and began to rifle through her drawers. Old Quidditch shirts that she had commandeered from her brothers? No. Out-of-date skirts and a woollen jumper that had a bright sunflower knitted on the front? Definitely not.

Now she knew why she always wore the potato sack, even on Hogsmeade weekends. It was easier to wear a uniform that wasn’t trendy rather than trying to explain to the other kids why she was wearing clothes that looked like they belonged in Aunt Mable’s closet or a museum. Sadly, even being the only girl in her family didn’t mean that she got her clothes brand new. Most were second-hand or hand-me-downs from distant female relatives. Most were also woollen.

“I’d might as well be a woolly mammoth,” muttered Ginny sourly, discarding yet another woollen item from the pile.

She sighed. This was not going to plan at all. What she needed was a fairy godmother, like what Cinderella had in that Muggle fairytale book. Ginny thought it was quite ridiculous that even though she lived in the magical world there was no such thing as a magical makeover. She would have thought that someone could have created a spell for that, but it seemed that there was no cure for dowdiness, and, apparently, there was no cure for a poorly stocked wardrobe either.

Alas, she had no choice but to work with the potato sack.

Ginny pulled out her school skirt and blouse. As they were both second-hand and her mother had been on a limited budget, neither was in the fashionable style normally worn at Hogwarts. Her mother had also bought them in a bigger size, assuring the disgruntled redhead that she would soon grow into them. Ginny never had.

“This is going to take a lot of work,” sighed the much-afflicted damsel.

Half an hour later, she had achieved what she thought was a relatively decent improvement. The skirt had been rolled up, now revealing a lot more thigh, and was held in place with a trusty spell that had been passed down amongst the girls of Hogwarts ever since a resourceful student had created it. The blouse, unfortunately, could not be modified so easily.

In the magazines it was the fashion to show a bit of cleavage. That would have been fine, except that Ginny had no cleavage to show off. She was thirteen and had a naturally petite build. It was inevitable that her breasts would resemble mosquito bites. It was also inevitable that she would not have a bra that might give her the illusion of having more than mosquito bites, as her mother was a conservative and did not approve of such things.

Ginny scowled at her decidedly flat chest. She knew that some girls resorted to padding, but that seemed just a little too humiliating, even for her. So she grew innovative and wrapped a cloth very tightly just underneath her nonexistent breasts, pushing them together like a corset. The effect was not dramatic, but it did the trick. She had cleavage. Almost.

She didn’t bother to wear the robe that went over top, as that really did make her look like she was wearing a sack. She would be cold, but then all worthy causes came with some sacrifices, and this was most definitely a worthy cause.

Satisfied that her clothes were in order, she then tried to do her hair nicely—‘try’ being the keyword—and applied some mascara and lipgloss, courtesy of Lavender Brown’s makeup stash. Ginny didn’t really endorse stealing from the other girls in the dorms, but where there was a will there was way, and, unfortunately, that ‘way’ meant that she had to borrow quite a few things from her fellow Gryffindors. She was sure that they wouldn’t mind…

Finally finished with her D.I.Y makeover, Ginny turned to look at her reflection to see the finished product. A grimace settled on her face. She definitely did not look like the women in the magazines, but there really was nothing else that she could do. She had to work with what she had, and this was it, nonexistent breasts and all.

Ginny returned the belongings that she had borrowed and then made her way out of the common room towards the Great Hall for breakfast. She entered the hall when it was buzzing with conversation—as she was rather late from trying to perfect her new look—and so was able to make a grand entrance. Or, at least, what might have been a grand entrance.

Normally when a girl undergoes a makeover, the people around her will pause to take a double glance or at least look suitably shocked and whisper behind their hands. Nobody did this for Ginny. In fact, nobody took any notice of her at all, though Doris, her friend, did ask her if she was going to sit down or not.

Ginny sat down, a slight crease forming on her brow. She glanced towards the Slytherin table, and spotted Draco eating and talking with his friends. He hadn’t looked at her once. It was all rather frustrating, though he did look so elegant and graceful lifting his spoon to his mouth like that.

His mouth…

“Hey! Ginny, are you even listening to me?”

Ginny reluctantly said goodbye to her fantasy that involved a shadowy alcove, Draco Malfoy, and a lovely snogging session, and turned her full attention to the raven-haired girl sitting next to her.

“What?”

“I said, are you going to come to Hogsmeade with us today?” repeated Doris, exasperation faintly creeping into her voice.

“Oh…”

Ginny thought about the little village. She’d already been there plenty of times before and could quite happily miss going today, but then the image of Draco Malfoy coming across her at the shrieking shack suddenly popped into her mind.

She could see it already. He would come up from the path, alone, and then his eyes—his stormy eyes—would fall on her relaxed form as she leant against the fence in that generically sexy pose she often saw women do in the magazines.

“You look different,” he would say in his beautiful, aristocratic drawl.

She would toss her hair artlessly, or perhaps fold her arms under her breast to emphasise her newly discovered cleavage.

“Like what you see?”

Draco would just smile that rare, entrancing smile, and then he would close the distance between them, his warm body soaking into hers as he leaned over her and whispered in her ear:

“Earth to Ginny! Hello! Merlin, here we go again...”

Ginny blinked. There was Doris scowling something awful at her.

“What?” said Ginny. And then it clicked. “Oh! Hogsmeade. Right. Um, yeah, sure I’ll come.”

Doris shook her head. “Honestly, Ginny. I’m beginning to wonder about you.”

Ginny could only give a sheepish smile. She really needed to stop daydreaming about Draco Malfoy.

XtXtX


Hogsmeade was just the same as it always was: loud, colourful and bustling with people. Ginny walked down the crowded street with her friends, arms wrapped tight around her stomach. Her eyes were trained on the lookout for any sign of a silvery-blond head as she vaguely listened to the conversation going on beside her.

Ginny rather liked Draco’s hair. It was like moonlight, pale and yet striking at the same time. Set against the mundane colours that her classmates sported, he was indeed like a silvery orb amidst a cloud of darkness, putting to shame the feeble lights of the stars that managed to shine through the shadow.

She began to feel rather poetic then. Wasn’t it just perfect how he was like the moon and she was like the sun? Blazing red and pale white, complementing and completing each other in their embrace of day and night.

“Like a lovers’ embrace,” murmured Ginny, quite caught up in her musings.

“What?”

Ginny glanced up, surprised at the interruption, only to see her three friends staring at her with worried expressions on their faces. She had almost forgotten that the other girls were there. She wished that she had decided to go to Hogsmeade with Loony Luna instead of her usual friends. Luna wouldn’t have cared if Ginny had started whispering poetic nonsense to herself. The dotty blonde would have probably joined in.

“Nothing,” muttered Ginny. “I was just…”

She trailed off and shrugged. Really, what else could she say? That she was obsessed with Draco Malfoy and had gotten a little too caught up in her admiration of his hair and the questionable thoughts that had followed?

Doris sighed. “Honestly, Ginny, you’ve been acting weird all week. What’s with you?”

But Ginny wasn’t listening. She had just seen a few boys wearing green and silver scarves go walking by, one who stood out for the distinctive shade of blond that adorned his head. He seemed to have something pinned to his chest. A badge?

Ginny frowned and walked forward, hoping to get a better look. Any information about the boy was worth knowing. She was creating a list of things about him in the hopes that it would help her get him to notice her. So far she had that he liked sweets, he owned an eagle owl, he was fourteen, and he enjoyed Quidditch. In other words, not very much at all.

Perhaps this badge would give her some new insight? Perhaps he was part of a club, like Hermione was with S.P.E.W?

The Slytherin boys sat down at a table outside The Three Broomsticks. Draco was reclining in his chair like he owned not only the chair but also the rest of the village attached to it. He was saying something—something very snooty, judging by his expression. She could almost see his lips forming the words ‘my father’, but then the little fantasy of what those lips could do to her distracted her train of thought, and she soon stopped wondering about what he was saying. She soon stopped wondering about everything.

“What’s the matter, Weasley? Too poor to go inside?”

It took Ginny a moment to realise that this barb had been directed at her, and that he—the boy who had taken such a deep root in her mind—was now staring at her, albeit mockingly, while his friends continued to snicker at his remark.

“No,” was all she could think to say. “I earn my own money.”

And it was true. She did chores around the house and sometimes did babysitting for the neighbouring families to earn a few sickles here and there.

Draco seemed surprised by her blunt reply. Perhaps he had been expecting something with a little more vehemence or aggression. That was certainly the trend when it came to her lanky brother.

He considered her for a moment, his eyes slowly taking her in from head to foot, and then back again. Ginny felt her cheeks warm under his scrutiny, but underneath the embarrassment was the electrifying exhilaration of having his attention. Would he finally notice her makeover?

“I see,” he said slowly. A smirk worked its way to his mouth. “So how much are you worth?”

“What?”

He laughed. It was an incredibly attractive sound.

“I mean, Weasley,” (she almost shivered at the way he drawled her name) “how much do you ask for your services? I admit, I wouldn’t have thought that even you would sink that low, but I suppose you have no choice but to put yourself on the corner with the wages your father earns.”

It took Ginny a few good seconds to comprehend what exactly it was that he was implying. Then her cheeks burned a brilliant shade of red.

Later she would think of plenty of clever retorts that she could have made in response to this remark, but at that moment she could only splutter something incoherent that might have been a denial of his claim that she was selling herself as a prostitute on the corner of Hogsmeade. It really was quite unfortunate that should have been exactly where she was standing.

Draco laughed again and tossed something at her. She caught it automatically, even in her upset state, and stared at the object in her hand. It was a badge, the same badge that he had been wearing, and had two words spelled in green on it: Potter Stinks.

“Why don’t you go sell that?” he said, still chuckling. “It might earn you more money.”

“I don’t need your stupid badge,” retorted Ginny. Though she would keep it anyway, Potter Stinks and all, simply because it had belonged to him.

“Come on, Malfoy,” interposed one of the boys. “Who cares about this dumb girl? Let’s go do something.”

Draco smirked one last time at Ginny, and then stood up from his seat. She watched him saunter off in the direction of the joke shop with his friends.

“Do you mind telling me what that was all about?” demanded an irritable female voice.

Ginny jumped and turned to see Doris scowling at her. The other Gryffindor girls seemed to have given up on their redheaded friend and had already left.

“Do you think I look like a hooker?” asked Ginny, still caught up in her own musings.

“What?”

“I just got called a hooker by Draco Malfoy. Do you think I look like one?”

Doris considered the redhead for a moment. “Well, you do look a little…easy. I did wonder about that this morning, but I didn’t want to say anything in case it hurt your feelings.”

Ginny sighed. “I see.”

Well, there went that plan. It seemed that winning his affections through the means of a makeover would have to be crossed off the list. Sure he had spoken to her, he had even smirked at her in goodbye, but once again she had found herself as the butt of his jokes. Still, he had recognised that she was a girl, and he hadn’t even mentioned the toilet incident once. That could only be considered a bonus.

But there was still no denying that she was bothered by the fact that he seemed to only insult her when they crossed paths. Her feelings weren’t invulnerable, but she reassured herself with the knowledge that he would change once he started to see her merits. After all, if the Beast could change after falling in love with Belle, despite all his nasty qualities, then why couldn’t Draco Malfoy do the same? There had to be a nicer side to him hidden somewhere in that arrogant personality of his.

Ginny was determined to find it, just as she was determined to discover what would make him notice her in a more favourable light. There was a certain fantasy that she was eager to make real…

But first she needed to think of a new plan.
End Notes:
I must confess that I stole the mosquito bite analogy from Bend It Like Beckham. It was just one of those things that has always tickled my humour, and I finally got the chance to use it here.
The Day That Ginny Weasley Caught The Wrong Fish by Boogum
The week that followed was rather tiresome and stressful for the redhead, to say the least. After many attempts to win the blond’s attention, all she could say in the end was that her only accomplishment was the addition to her list of Draco Malfoy being a very oblivious boy.

But perhaps that wasn’t a fair assessment. Draco wasn’t really oblivious. In fact, he was a very perceptive boy when he chose to be, but it was true that he had remained frustratingly oblivious of her attempts to earn his admiration and attention. She had not resorted to hideous makeovers again, but she had written him a love letter, baked him a cake, and drawn a portrait of him, all stamped with a little clue so as to lead him to the identity of his mystery admirer.

This would have been a lovely plan, had it not been for the fact that Crabbe was the one who had discovered the letter and had automatically assumed it was for him, even though he clearly did not have eyes that were like storms on a misty morning. Ginny wasn’t even sure what a storm would look like on a misty morning, but it had sounded nice, so she had put it in there anyway.

The cake also did not reach its intended target. That one got lost in delivery and ended up in Goyle’s accommodating stomach. The portrait, however, did make it to the blond’s hands, but as drawing had never been her forte, it was unlikely that he would understand its significance, let alone that the picture was of him.

And so it was that Ginny found herself at point nonplus. She had tried the makeover. She had tried to woo him through romantic letters, tasty food, and a portrait of himself (however poorly drawn), but it was all to no avail. He had not shown the faintest glimmer of interest in her.

“Perhaps I’m being too subtle?” mused Ginny, whilst idly watching the blond relaxing by the lake with his two faithful minions.

Maybe what she really needed to do was something drastic to get his attention? The only question was, what would get his attention in a good way? So far she had only succeeded in making herself look ridiculous, which, however much it enabled his attention to turn towards her, did not play favourably in the hopes of actually winning his deeper affections.

Ginny frowned to herself. If only she knew more about him. What he liked and disliked. Her list still hadn’t grown much bigger than what it had started out as. He was so obnoxiously loud sometimes, and yet, when it came to his own personal feelings and thoughts, there was this great cloud that smothered everything. Sure he was a snob about blood purity and wealth, but there had to be more to him than that. He couldn’t just exist as the boy who hated Muggle-borns and liked to sneer at people.

She focussed her gaze on the blond now. He was leaning casually back against his palms, shirtsleeves rolled up, with his tie loosened around his neck. His hair was slightly tousled from the breeze, and this, coupled with the nonchalant expression he wore on his face, made him appear in that moment as the embodiment of what a typical teenage boy should look like. It also, in Ginny’s opinion, made him look very attractive.

This heavenly vision was in itself proof that there was more to the boy than his snobbery. Here he was acting like any other teenager, simply relaxing and socialising with his friends under the sun. It was true that he often rolled his eyes at Crabbe and Goyle’s remarks, but Ginny couldn’t help but notice that the action was not done in a malicious way. He was obviously fond of the trollish duo, despite their astounding moments of idiocy.

Draco was speaking now. Ginny wished that she could hear what he was saying. She wished that she could even have a proper conversation with him. There was always something getting in the way, whether it was his Slytherin friends, her friends, his general snootiness, or her unfortunate habit of embarrassing herself in front of him. Nothing ever seemed to go right, and always, no matter what the scenario, the attempt would end with him making some horrid remark or smirking at her.

Ginny sighed. What she wouldn’t give to have him say just one sentence to her that didn’t have mocking connotations. It seemed that all he did was ridicule her, for he never paid any attention to her at all unless she was acting as his source of amusement.

It was all rather depressing, but she couldn’t give up now. There just had to be a way to get him to notice her in a more favourable light. Somehow she had to get him to separate himself from his prejudices and see her for who she was, and not just as another Weasley. She had to get his attention in a way that he would never forget; jolt him out of his senses so that he would have to think about her long after they had parted ways...

The clouds playing on the mirror-like surface of the lake caught her eye. She stared at the water for a moment, and then, as if slowly piecing two-and-two together, brought her gaze to rest back on the unsuspecting blond. It would be a very daring plan, but she was desperate, and desperate times called for desperate measures. In any case, it was certain to get his attention.

She stood up and brushed the shredded daisy petals off her skirt (all, unfortunately, which had told her that he most definitely loved-her-not) and walked towards the lake. It looked rather cold and ominous, but she was a Gryffindor, and Gryffindors did not shrink at the sight of horrors. Or, at least, that was what Ginny told herself as she dipped one bare foot experimentally in the chilly water.

Ginny threw another glance back at the blond, who was still talking with Crabbe and Goyle. She was just trying to determine what would be the best approach to go about her plan, when a very short boy passed by her vision.

“Hey,” Ginny called out, snatching him by the shoulder and pulling him to an abrupt halt.

“I didn’t do it,” squealed the boy, shrinking away from her hand.

Ginny gave an inelegant snort. “I’m not accusing you of anything. I just need you to do me a favour.”

“What?” asked the boy, raising his sharp face to peer at her suspiciously.

“Do you see that group of Slytherins over there?”

The boy nodded.

“I need you to tell the blond that there’s a girl drowning in the lake and that she needs help, but you can’t swim, so you can’t save her yourself. Oh, and tell him that she’ll probably need CPR.”

“But there isn’t a girl drowning in the lake.”

Stupid. I will be the girl drowning,” explained Ginny, rolling her eyes.

“But how did you get in the lake to drown in the first place?”

“I don’t know,” shrugged Ginny. Really, it was a bit much to expect her to think that far ahead. “Make something up if you want; just make sure that you get him to come and save me, all right?”

“What do I get out of this?” enquired the boy, giving her a shrewd glance.

Ginny was a little taken aback by this demand. Then she noticed the green and silver scarf hanging round his neck. Slytherin. Typical.

“Ah…I’ll bring you back some butterbeer and sweets from Hogsmeade,” suggested Ginny. “How does that sound?”

The sharp-faced boy considered her for a moment and then nodded. “Deal.”

Ginny let out a breath. “Okay, I’m going to go into the lake now. Wait for my signal before you tell him to come and save me. I need this to look plausible.”

“All right.”

Ginny turned away from the boy and walked into the water. It was colder than what she had expected it to be. A lot colder. She was almost tempted to forget her plan and go right back to the shore where it was nice and warm, but then she reminded herself that no good thing came without a little sacrifice. There was nothing to be gained from chickening out now.

It was true that she had a faint feeling of misgiving when the water started tickling her chin, but she continued on ahead anyway, reassured by the fact that even if the Slytherin did realise her trick and refused to save her, she was a capable swimmer and wasn’t really going to drown.

Soon her feet could no longer touch the bottom. She chanced a glance back towards the shore, seeing the group of Slytherins still relaxing on the grass not too far away from the water’s edge. Her partner in crime was waiting expectantly for her to give the go-ahead.

She was about to raise her arm in signal for him to go tell Draco to come and save her, when something slimy suddenly tightened around her ankle. Ginny only had time to give a small squeak of fright before she was being yanked down under the water with surprising ferocity. Everything was distorted before her eyes, the world moving with the disrupted ripples of the lake. Something green was clinging to her ankle, pulling her deeper into the murky blackness. A Grindylow?

Ginny kicked at it, trying to break free from its hold, but its only response was to bite down on her leg with razor sharp teeth. A cry of pain instinctively broke from her lips. Water rushed into her mouth, choking her and causing her already panicked-seized brain to go into a frenzy of fear. She knew she needed to get air.

Desperate now, Ginny kicked, thrashed and propelled herself upwards. She just managed to break through the surface, still choking and spluttering, but all too soon she was being dragged back under again, her strangled cry for help being smothered by a gurgling, watery hand.

Was this how she died? Drowned because of the desperate need to have Draco Malfoy notice her?

To die for love. It was a noble thing, a beautiful thing, some would say, but even Ginny couldn’t delude herself in thinking that there was something noble about her situation. She was the one who had been stupid enough to pretend to drown in order to get the blond’s attention, and so placed herself in a position where a Grindylow actually could drag her down to a watery death.

It was a pathetic way to die, really. Not romantic at all. No one would write about her in great novels. She would just be the girl who drowned because she couldn’t get a boy to notice her.

Ginny gave one last kick at the Grindylow that had ruined everything. She wanted to keep fighting, to keep pushing to the surface, but it was like she was slowly and painfully shutting down. She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t think. A great emptiness seemed to have taken over her.

And then she was sinking; sinking deep into the murky blackness that swallowed her whole…

XtXtX


Something was prodding her side. Ginny wished it would stop. She was supposed to be in heaven right now, not being subjected to irritating jabs. And what was with all this annoying darkness? Wasn’t heaven supposed to be all white, with helmet-haired angels playing harps, and wearing large, feathery wings on their backs?

“I don’t think she’s breathing,” said a muffled and slightly panicked voice from somewhere in the darkness. “Perhaps you should try CRP?”

“CRP?” said another, this one deeper. “What the hell is CRP?”

Ginny struggled to make sense of what was happening. She felt rather like a blob of nothingness in that moment, but she still had enough energy to wonder why people were talking about CRP in heaven. It seemed a stupid thing to talk about, and she quite agreed with the male with the deeper voice. What the hell was CRP, anyway?

“I think he means CPR,” observed yet another male.

There was a pause.

“What’s that?” demanded the second voice.

“It’s a—Here, I’ll show you.”

Something touched her face. Ginny was startled at the contact, her senses jolting back to life at the sudden feeling that surged through her nerves up to her brain. The thick darkness that had been pressing down on her began to lessen, her body slowly becoming more aware of its surroundings.

She could smell the scent of damp clothes and…banana muffins? Why did it smell like banana muffins?

Her eyes snapped open. Ginny knew in that moment that she most definitely was not in heaven. If anything, she had just stumbled into what could only be considered a nightmare.

Just as she had envisioned when she had first concocted her foolish plan, there was a boy leaning over her, his mouth just inches from her own as he prepared to give her mouth-to-mouth. Except, this boy did not have grey eyes, and he most certainly did not have silvery-blond hair. The only thing that fit was the green and silver scarf wrapped around his neck.

Their eyes met, brown meeting an even duller brown, and then Ginny let out a shriek and thrust the boy away from her.

Gregory Goyle had just been mere seconds from placing his lips over hers. Gregory Goyle!

The boy in question fell back on his bottom, his cheeks flushing a deep crimson in his embarrassment. Ginny was still staring at him in disgust, refusing to listen to his bumbling speech that he had only been trying to help. This, naturally, triggered off his friends’ laughter, including the blond that was supposed to have saved her. Draco’s clothes were rather damp for someone who had let his minion do the real work, but Ginny didn’t think to question why. She was too concerned with the effect that it had on his appearance.

No. She was not to think of him in that way. He had ruined everything. His lips were supposed to have breathed life into hers, but instead she had almost been kissed by banana breath over there. Ginny felt it was typical of him. You could never trust a Malfoy to do anything noble.

“Seems like she didn’t want your CRP, Goyle,” remarked that frustrating blond, trademark smirk firmly in place.

“It’s CPR!” snapped Ginny. “C-P-R! How can you not know that?”

Draco’s smirk faltered. Apparently he didn’t like being corrected by people. Ginny couldn’t have cared less. She was thoroughly fed up with everything in that moment. She had almost drowned, her plan had failed, she was freezing, and now Draco Malfoy was being his usual nasty self and not even bothering to ask her if she was okay. No, he just had to go and make stupid comments and talk about that ridiculous CRP again.

The blond opened his mouth to speak, no doubt to make a scathing retort, but just in that moment the sharp-faced First Year from earlier nudged past him and stopped in front of Ginny.

“I’m glad to see that you didn’t actually drown and all that, but I do have things to do,” announced the boy, if a little abruptly. “I’ve done my part, so you’d better remember your end of the deal. It’s not my problem that things didn’t work out for you.”

Ginny could have hexed the little beast in that moment. As it was, her wand was sitting with her shoes where she had left them, so she had no choice but to grit her teeth and watch the conniving snake smile at her with mocking sweetness before he strolled off back towards the castle.

He had said that on purpose. She just knew it.

Draco stared at her through shrewd, grey eyes. “Deal?” he queried, lifting an eyebrow. “And what deal would that be?”

“None of your business,” retorted Ginny.

“You know,” responded Draco with ironic politeness, “for someone who almost drowned, you’re being rather rude to your rescuers.”

Ginny ignored this comment and struggled to her feet. This proved to be a big mistake, as not only was she still weak, but the pressure of holding her weight up caused a nasty jolt of pain to throb through her wounded leg. She swayed and would have fallen right over, except that hands quickly grasped at her waist.

“Easy there, Weasley,” scolded Draco. “We don’t want you to become any more brain damaged than what you already are.”

Ginny was too enthralled by the fact that he was touching her to really care that he had just insulted her again. Her anger had quite evaporated. Indeed, her stomach seemed to be assaulted by invisible butterflies, and her heart was racing with sudden exhilaration. She could feel the warmth of his hands seeping through her shirt, a shirt so clingy in its dampened state that it was almost as if he was touching her bare skin. They were close, so close that it was made intensely obvious to her that she need only lean back just a fraction for their bodies to mould together as one.

She could see it perfectly in her mind. She would lean back, pressing her back against his chest to feel the hard but still boyish form of his body. His hand would slide up from her waist to her stomach, holding her possessively against him as he leaned his face down towards hers. Their lips would meet briefly, almost teasingly, and then he would deepen the kiss, drawing her into a world of pleasurable intoxication. She would curl a hand around his neck, surrendering completely to her passions, and then—

“Can you stand or not, Weasley? I don’t have all day.”

Right.

Ginny stepped away from him. She winced as another stab of pain shot through her leg. Draco must have noticed her expression, for he muttered something to Goyle, who then gave a startled glance at the redhead, his cheeks flushing an interesting shade of plum.

Draco made an impatient noise. “She’s just a Weasley, Goyle. Hurry up or I’ll get Crabbe to do it.”

“Wait, what are you talking about?” demanded Ginny, eyeing the two boys suspiciously.

Goyle simply sighed and picked her up in his arms, where he threw her over his shoulder as if she were nothing more than a rag doll.

“Hey!” shrieked Ginny, giving him a hard thump on his back. “You just can’t do that! Put me down!”

“Relax, Weasley,” drawled Draco. “He’s just carrying you to the hospital wing so that Madam Pomfrey can heal your leg. You should be grateful that we’re even bothering to take you there.”

He muttered something else that sounded suspiciously like ‘should have left her in the lake’, but Ginny chose to ignore that part.

“Well,” retorted the indignant redhead, “you could at least have had the decency to ask for my permission first before you ordered your drudge to carry me off like a caveman with his woman.”

“I’m not a drudge,” muttered Goyle.

Neither Draco nor Ginny paid any attention to this remark.

“Weasleys are about as primitive as cavemen,” responded Draco. “I would have thought that you’d be used to it.”

Ginny’s face went red with anger. She would have liked to hex him in that moment. As it was, Goyle decided to shift her into a more comfortable on his shoulder, causing her to almost collide face-first with his bottom. All thoughts of cursing the blond promptly vanished from her brain. Indeed, her curses were now directed at the lump of lard that had distracted her thoughts in the first place.

“Do you mind?” snapped Ginny, pulling her hands away from Goyle’s backside with an expression of distaste on her face.

Crabbe sniggered. So did Draco.

Goyle mumbled what sounded like an apology, but Ginny wasn’t listening. She had the horrible suspicion that her knickers were being displayed to the world right now. It felt a little too breezy.

“Nice cauldrons,” murmured a voice near her ear.

The blood rushed to her cheeks. Well that certainly confirmed her suspicions. She wasn’t sure what was more mortifying: the fact that Draco Malfoy had seen her knickers and was teasing her about it, or the fact that she was caught wearing cauldron knickers in the first place.

She wondered why she liked this boy who was so relentlessly cruel to her. There was certainly nothing to like about him when she was being carried by his minion in the most humiliating of fashions, her hideous, cauldron knickers in full view for all the school to see, while he, that blond Adonis, stood there smirking and making fun of her.

Ginny could feel her temper rising. She lifted her face to make a heated retort—what that retort was she could not say, though she was quite certain that it was going to blow them all away—when her eyes collided with his. All angry words died on her lips right then and there.

His eyes were indeed glinting with amusement, but there was not a hint of maliciousness in the grey. Ginny didn’t know what to make of it, and felt rather mollified by this unexpected development; though, that didn’t stop her from glowering at him as she pulled her skirt back down to cover her knickers. This, unfortunately, only made the boys start laughing again, and they continued to laugh about it long after the incident had happened.

Boys. It was so typical of them. Just as it was typical of them to inflict her with several bad cauldron jokes, which they no doubt thought were very witty, and which she rolled her eyes at more than once. Crabbe, however, didn’t seem to understand when enough was enough.

Crabbe grinned at her, a sloppy, sleazy kind of grin. “I’ll come stir your cauldron for you, Weasley. You like potion-making, don’t you?”

That was the last straw. Ginny made to grab at him, intending to make sure that he never stirred a cauldron again, but as she was still slung over Goyle’s shoulder and was being restrained by his bulky arms, she didn’t exactly get very far with this mission.

It was to this unfortunate scene that Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger stumbled across the ill-assorted group.

“What are you doing with my sister?” bellowed Ron, impulsively lunging forward. “You get your dirty hands off her!”

Crabbe stood in front of the raging redhead and cracked his knuckles. He looked the perfect picture of a loyal minion, even managing to produce a menacing expression on his otherwise expressionless face. Really, one could almost call it a form of art the way he transformed himself from a blockhead, to a, well, intimidating blockhead.

Draco easily stepped into his role as the ringleader and placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder. It was rather like watching a trainer calling off his guard dog.

“Calm down, Weasley,” drawled Draco with feigned boredom. “We’re not doing anything nefarious to your sister.”

Hermione raised an eyebrow. Judging by Ron and Harry’s puzzled expressions, it was somewhat doubtful as to whether they even understood what the word ‘nefarious’ meant.

“That may be, Malfoy,” said Hermione, sparing her word-challenged friends by bridging the silence, “but that doesn’t explain why Ginny was trying to attack Crabbe, or why Goyle is carrying her like that. Or even why she’s soaking wet,” added the bushy-haired girl, eyeing the drenched redhead with a frown.

Ginny had the grace to blush. She motioned for Goyle to place her down on the ground—who obliged—and faced her friends with a sheepish expression. “That was my fault. I, uh, almost drowned in the lake. They saved me,” she explained, gesturing to the Slytherins.

Draco gave a smug smile at that. “I think you owe Goyle an apology, Weasel. He did save your sister’s life.”

“You shut your face, Malfoy. I know what you’re like. Don’t think that I’ll buy this bollocks that you and your buddies rescued my sister out of the goodness of your hearts. You probably blackmailed her to say all that.”

“Oh no, Weasley, we’ve decided to become the philanthropists of Hogwarts. Our mission is to save one blood traitor at a time. Maybe we’ll save you from your idiocy next. You might actually be able to think then, but let’s not hope for the impossible.”

“Why you little—”

“Ron!” exclaimed Ginny, limping to stand in front of her brother’s way to stop him from lunging at the blond. “Stop being so rude.”

“I’m being rude? He’s the one who’s being rude.”

The blond smirked. No doubt he took this accusation as a compliment.

“Malfoy’s always like that,” responded Ginny dismissively. “Besides, he and his friends did save my life. And the reason why Goyle was carrying me is because it hurts for me to walk. They were just helping me out.”

“A Slytherin helping out a Gryffindor? Yeah, when Muggles fly.”

“Muggles can fly,” pointed out Hermione, always the stickler for getting one’s facts straight. “And I think you are being a little unreasonable, Ron. How do you know they didn’t help her?”

“They’re Slytherins! They’d be more likely to drown her themselves than save her!”

“Have you ever thought of trying for the stage, Weasley? Your turn for theatrics is quite admirable.”

“Shut up, Malfoy!”

“Is this true?” interposed Harry, before the blond could make another snide remark. “Did you really save her from drowning?”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Yes, Potter, my friends and I really did. Believe it or not, we don’t actually make a habit out of letting people drown in the lake.”

Ron remained cynical, but Hermione and Harry seemed satisfied with this answer.

“Thank you,” said Harry, if a little forced. “That was very decent of you.”

“Decent, my foot,” spat Ron. “They probably did it just so they wouldn’t get in trouble.”

“We can’t all be heroes,” lamented Draco with mocking seriousness. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I actually do have better things to do than stand here talking with a bunch of Gryffindors.” He turned to Ginny, a small smirk flittering across his mouth. “Perhaps this will teach you to consider the consequences before you decide to go swimming in the lake. You may just end up baiting the wrong fish again.”

Ginny opened her mouth to make a retort, but quickly closed it again. She wasn’t really sure what she could say to that.

Draco smirked at her one last time and then motioned for his friends to follow him. Crabbe winked at Ginny in parting, while Goyle merely blushed.

Ginny stared after their retreating figures with a mixture of bewilderment and concern on her face. Somehow she got the feeling that Draco was referring to more than just Grindylows with that parting speech.

“Uh, Ginny, did you know that you’re not wearing any shoes?” asked Harry, giving her an odd look.

Ginny glanced down at her feet and realised that they were indeed still bare.

“Damn! I left my wand and shoes by the lake.”

“I’ll go get them,” said Hermione. “You two take her up to the hospital wing.”

As soon as the bushy-haired girl was gone, Ron rounded on his sister. “You, Ginevra Molly Weasley, have a lot of explaining to do.”

Ginny sighed. There would be no getting out of this one.
The Day That Ginny Weasley Got Her Wish by Boogum
Life as a Gryffindor had become rather awkward for Ginny over the past few days. Doris and her other friends were no longer talking to her. Apparently they felt neglected and accused her of not caring about them anymore. Ginny couldn’t deny this accusation. Her life seemed to consist of Draco Malfoy and only Draco Malfoy, but that didn’t mean the girls had to ignore her when she actually wanted to spend time with them. It was all rather unfair, she thought.

And then there was her brother and his friends. She had tried to skirt around the subject of why she had almost drowned in the lake, but it was obvious that her explanations had holes. Ron had pounced on these holes with vigour, throwing accusation after accusation at her face. Her favourite was that she had been ‘fraternising with the enemy’, a phrase he seemed to have taken a liking to. Of course, Ron would hardly appreciate the sentiment behind that favouritism, and even Ginny got depressed at the thought that this accusation was just as empty and untrue as her fantasies involving the blond.

It wasn’t fair that even after everything she had done, Draco still refused to play by the rules and notice her for the beautiful, brilliant witch that she was…

Fine, so maybe she was laying it on a bit thick there, but still, this was getting ridiculous.

After the ‘lake incident’ (sometimes referred to as the ‘knickers-of-doom incident’), she had pondered over his parting words, trying to ascertain what exactly he had been implying. It almost seemed as if he knew that she had been trying to get his attention, and yet at other times it appeared that he had simply been teasing her for nearly being drowned by a Grindylow. What she could say for certain was that he had made no move to talk to her again. He seemed quite content to ignore her, which made ‘Operation Ignore Draco Malfoy And Therefore Win His Attention Out Of Pique’ fail instantaneously. After all, she couldn’t very well ignore someone who was already ignoring her.

Ginny had also come to the conclusion that all of those romance novels lied. The makeover hadn’t worked, making him nice things hadn’t worked, getting him to save her life hadn’t worked, and ignoring him for the sake of getting his attention at being ignored hadn’t worked. Really, the whole system of fictional methods to get a boy to notice her was flawed when it came to Draco Malfoy.

“Miss Weasley,” said a smooth voice, effectively interrupting her brooding thoughts. “Do you plan on starting your potion today?”

She raised her eyes and found herself meeting tunnels of black. The face that housed these dark eyes was just as equally black, at least in expression. Daydreaming in Professor Snape’s class had certainly not been the smartest thing for her to do.

“Sorry, sir,” mumbled Ginny. “I’ll get started now.”

Snape’s lip curled contemptuously. “There’s no need. You do not have enough time to make the potion adequately, though whether you could have done that in the first place remains to be seen.”

Ginny bristled with indignation at this insult, but bit back the retort that sprang to her lips. There was nothing to be gained in back-chatting to Snape.

“You may leave, Miss Weasley. I do not tolerate time wasters in my class.”

Cheeks flushed, Ginny stood up from her chair and gathered up her belongings. She turned to exit the room, when Snape said softly:

“Oh, and that will be twenty points from Gryffindor, and a detention for your laziness. Anymore behaviour like this from you, and I will be speaking with your Head of House.”

“Yes, sir.”

The words were like metal in her mouth.

Effectively dismissed, and not wanting to linger in her shame, Ginny quickly left the room and made her way up out of the dungeons. She wasn’t sure what to do now. There were still fifteen minutes to go before her classmates would join her, but Ginny didn’t really want to face them right now. They would just laugh at her.

She ended up deciding to go to the Quidditch Pitch. No one would bother her there, and it would certainly help to get her mind off things. Flying always did. Of course, she didn’t actually have a broom of her own, but students were allowed to borrow the school brooms, and Ginny made full use of this happy fact.

The redhead had only taken a few steps onto the grass, when she realised that there was someone already flying around the pitch. That was odd. Most people avoided the pitch of late, as Quidditch had been cancelled due to the Tri-Wizard tournament being held instead. One boy had obviously clung to his stubborn desire to fly.

Ginny felt her heart give a warm flutter when she recognised the shade of blond adorning the boy’s head. Perhaps being kicked out of Snape’s class wasn’t so bad, after all?

Not wanting to be caught watching him, and yet still not wanting to miss this rare opportunity to admire her favourite blond, she appeased the two conflicting wishes by hiding near the closest changing room. The stands were a bit too open for a suitable hiding place, but this spot would do nicely, not to mention it gave her a perfect view of the Slytherin.

For a few blissful minutes she was allowed to watch Draco without anyone or anything to disturb her. She was impressed by the discovery that he was as graceful in the air as he was on land, though it was true that Harry was the better flyer. Still, there was no question that Draco presented the more striking image. One could not consider him perfectly handsome—even Ginny could admit that—but he was a good-looking boy, and he certainly knew how to use a broom to his advantage. At least, when it came to capturing a girl’s heart.

Ginny was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t notice him start descending towards the ground. By the time she had finally realised that he was no longer in the air, it was only to discover with faint horror that he was heading straight towards her. It also meant that she had less than five minutes to find a better hiding spot.

She panicked and rushed into the changing room, hiding just behind the entrance to the showers. It was just her luck to have chosen the Slytherin changing room as her hiding place, just as it was equally her luck for Draco Malfoy to be the kind of boy who actually wore different clothes when he flew, and therefore had to get changed.

The sound of footsteps, firm and yet unhurried, drifted to her ears. Her heart began thumping in her chest. Moisture gathered on her palms. She swallowed and silently prayed that nothing would go wrong. The last thing she needed was another ‘incident’ to add to her list. That list was almost bigger than the one she had been compiling about the blond himself.

She could hear Draco shuffling around outside her hiding place, and then everything went quiet. Ginny began to wonder if he was even still in the changing rooms with her. She risked a peek through the crack in the door to satisfy her curiosity. Her mouth formed into a small ‘o’ at the sight that met her eyes.

He was indeed still in the changing rooms. He also happened to be wearing no shirt, and was just beginning to unbutton his pants.

Warmth rushed to her cheeks. It seemed wrong to watch him like this—perve might be the more accurate word—but she couldn’t seem to tear her eyes away from his bare chest. His body seemed so sharp and angled to her, so accustomed was she to the softness of her own body, and he certainly was more slender than muscular, but that didn’t stop her from feeling the prickles of attraction shiver along her skin.

She allowed her eyes to drift lower. Her cheeks burned even more when he let his pants drop to the ground. She had never seen a boy so barely clothed before—apart from her brothers, of course, but they didn’t count—and though she was indeed embarrassed at the amount of pale skin displayed before her eyes, she found herself more curious than anything else.

Would he remove the boxers too?

Draco’s fingers slid under the elastic of the silky material. She sucked in a breath, watching in agonised curiosity as he began to drag down the last piece of clothing that covered his otherwise naked body. Then he paused.

Ginny let out a breath she didn’t realise she had been holding. Why had he stopped?

She watched him glance around the changing room. There was a slight crease on his brow, as if he were confused by something. Ginny stepped back, not wanting him to see her in case he happened to glance her way. Unfortunately, she had not been counting on there being one of Filch’s cleaning buckets directly behind her. Her foot hit the bucket—that alone creating more than enough noise—but the surprise of actually stumbling into something soon had her letting out a loud gasp, not to mention falling hard on her bottom from the sudden loss of balance.

Ginny groaned in pain, but that groan quickly turned into a small squeak of fright as the door was thrust open and a very irate—and boxer-clad—Draco Malfoy entered the room. His cold eyes swept around the showers and then lowered to focus on her, narrowing even more as recognition dawned in the grey.

“Weasley. I should have known.”

A blush spread across her cheeks, burning the very tips of her ears. “It’s not what it looks like.”

“Oh?” he queried, voice deceptively polite. “Then how do you explain the fact that a Gryffindor like yourself, who has no reason to be here, was hiding in the Slytherin changing rooms, watching me as I got undressed, and not even bothering to say a word the whole time to reveal your presence?”

Her blush deepened. She cast her mind for something to say, anything at all to get her out of this mess, but her mind had gone completely blank. The horrible truth was that she had been perving on him, and even now she was slightly disappointed that he had realised her presence just seconds before she could get a glimpse of that certain male appendage.

What could she say? What could she do?

In the end, Ginny did the only thing she could do. She bolted, or at least tried to, but Draco’s fingers tightened around her wrist in a vice-like-grip, pulling her to an abrupt halt.

“Going somewhere, Weasley?” he asked, smirking at her in a way that made her feel like a bird trapped in the claws of a very hungry cat.

“I—”

She swallowed and glanced around nervously, avoiding his piercing gaze. Her heart was thudding furiously in her chest, making it rather hard to breathe. For a moment she almost toyed with the idea of telling him the truth, maybe even just grabbing his face and kissing him, but then the thought of what he might do if she did that made her nerves flare up again.

Ginny panicked, again, but this time her gut reaction was to hit and run. So she did just that, giving him a hard boot to the shin, and then fled from the changing room as soon as his fingers released her. It was a cowardly thing to go, but Ginny would rather be known as the cowardly lion than explain to Draco Malfoy why she had been perving on him in the changing rooms. That would just be too humiliating.

“I can’t believe he caught me watching him get undressed,” muttered Ginny fretfully to herself, as she paused to catch her breath once she was a safe distance from the Quidditch Pitch.

She knew she would never be able to face him again. This was possibly the most embarrassing thing that had ever happened to her in her life, and no matter how much she wished she could go back in time to reverse what had happened, nothing could change the fact that she had willingly perved on him and had been caught doing so.

“He probably thinks I’m some creepy stalker.”

That her behaviour as of late could be considered stalkerish did not occur to Ginny. She was too consumed with shame to think rationally, and too nervous of what his reaction would be when he next saw her to really care about her previous plans to get his attention.

One thing was for sure: she had well and truly got his attention this time.

XtXtX


It was funny how the tables had turned so drastically. For weeks she had been tailing him, trying to figure out the best way to get him to notice her, but now that she finally had his attention, it was she was who was skirting his advances and fleeing from his presence; she who directed suspicious glances his way during meal-times, trying to figure out what his game was.

For Draco had indeed taken an interest in her, and Ginny was not so stupid that she couldn’t see that his main goal was to get her alone. What he planned to do with her once he had her alone had her shivering in both trepidation and exhilaration. The situation went either way in her mind, depending on her mood. She preferred the one where he pushed her up against the wall and snogged her until she saw stars, but somehow Ginny thought that scenario was unlikely to happen. He was more likely to go with option two: kidnap her and make her suffer a painful torture for even daring to perve on him.

Why did her ‘moment’ have to be with Draco Malfoy? Why couldn’t it have been with Colin, or that Hufflepuff boy whose voice still hadn’t dropped and so talked like a squeaky mouse? They would never have given her this much trouble. She could have wrapped them right around her little finger, but she could not wrap Draco Malfoy around her finger. He was a Slytherin, a master at manipulation, and somehow he had manoeuvred her into a very tight corner without her even realising it.

Ginny chanced a glance at the Slytherin table. Grey collided with brown. She gasped and quickly lowered her eyes to her plate, pink blossoming on her cheeks. He had been staring at her again—was even now staring at her. She shifted edgily and tried to ignore the penetrating gaze touching her skin, for to her it seemed as if his eyes really could touch her.

She had might as well have tried to fly without a broom.

“Draco Malfoy is staring at you,” whispered Doris, her eyes wide with curiosity and surprise.

Apparently her friend had decided the ‘ignoring phase’ was over.

“Does he look angry?” asked Ginny, not daring to look again herself.

“No,” said Doris slowly. “He looks…amused. I think—I think he’s smiling.”

Ginny shuddered. It was probably that awful smirk, the one that made her feel like he was going to eat her. She suddenly felt sick.

“Ginny, why is Draco Malfoy smiling at you?”

“He’s probably just smiling because he’s having fun plotting my untimely demise.”

“Why? What did you do?”

“It’s a long story,” sighed the redhead. Not to mention she had no desire to let other people know of her changing room escapade. The memory still brought a blush to her cheeks.

“He’s still looking at you.”

“Stop looking at him,” hissed Ginny. “You’ll just encourage him.”

Doris laughed. “Wow. He really does have you on edge.”

“You would be too if he caught you per—”

Ginny clamped her mouth shut, realising what she had almost said.

“Caught you, what?” asked Doris.

“Nothing,” said Ginny. She stood up from the table. “I might go work on that essay for Binns.”

“But your dinner—”

“I’m not hungry,” lied the redhead. “I’ll see you around.”

“All right…”

Doris watched her friend leave the Great Hall rather in the manner of one fleeing a pack of Hagrid’s Blast-Ended Skrewts.

“Honestly,” muttered that bewildered damsel. “What is wrong with her?”

XtXtX


Ginny could no longer deny it. She was officially paranoid. Two days ago, Draco Malfoy had seemed to be constantly watching her wherever she went. Now he was suddenly nowhere to be seen. She didn’t dare hope that he had finally grown bored of pursuing her and was now content to let her go unpunished. She knew him better than that. More than likely he had changed his tactics. If this was true, it was definitely working.

She had grown so accustomed to his ominous presence that having him absent now made her even more nervous. Every shadowy alcove was an opportunity for him to pounce on her. She had not forgotten her fears of kidnap and torture, and was very ready to believe that he was just waiting for the perfect moment to catch her unawares.

Ginny made a point of never being alone—she wasn’t going to make it that easy for him—but there were times where one couldn’t help but be alone. Like when she was going to the toilet, or having a shower, or waking up late and finding herself alone in the Common Room because everyone else had already agglomerated to the Great Hall for breakfast.

It was this that had Ginny sweating in paranoia. She now had to walk down seven flights of stairs to get to the Great Hall. Alone.

She was going to die.

Contrary to this gloomy premonition, Ginny made it down the seven flights of stairs unmolested and decidedly alive, though Peeves did deign to blow a raspberry at her along the way. She leaned against the wall at the bottom of the stairs, a small sigh of relief escaping her lips. Maybe she really was just being paranoid? Maybe Draco wasn’t going to hurt her?

“Well, well,” drawled an all too familiar voice. “It seems I’ve finally got you alone.”

Or not.

Ginny reluctantly opened her eyes and faced the blond, her nerves tingling under her skin at the faintly amused expression on his face. It was that smirk again.

He closed his hand around her arm. “I think it’s time we drew this game of cat and mouse to a close, don’t you think?”

She didn’t even get a chance to reply, he was already dragging her down the hallway and into one of the unused classrooms. The door shut with a snap behind them, the distinct sound of a magical lock being placed making her heart quicken in fear. He turned to face her and slipped his hand in her robe pockets, feeling around until she felt his fingers close around her wand.

“You won’t be needing this,” he murmured, withdrawing his hand, along with her wand, and placed the commandeered item in his own pocket.

Thoughts of the most terrifying flittered through her brain. He was no longer the boy who had stolen her heart, but had now become the Grim Reaper of her life and happiness. She didn’t even pause to wonder if he was actually capable of the hideous deeds that her over-imaginative brain depicted him doing, but she did come to the decision that she would fight back with every tooth and nail if she had to.

Draco, completely oblivious to her raving thoughts, released her arm and leaned back against the door. “All right, Weasley,” he said calmly. “Here’s what we’re going to do.”

But Ginny wasn’t listening. A mad gleam had come into her eyes, her breath coming short and fast. Suddenly, she launched herself at him, fingers scrabbling at his pocket in her desperate attempt to get her wand back. A few expletives escaped the blond’s lips, more out of surprise than anything else. They struggled together for a moment, and then Draco managed to get both her arms trapped in an iron grip, effectively holding her away from him.

“Are you crazy?” he demanded, grey eyes glittering with frustration.

“I won’t let you kidnap me!” screamed Ginny, still twisting in his hold.

“Kidnap you? I’m just trying to talk to you.”

Ginny gave a derisive snort. “Right. That’s why you dragged me into an unused classroom, locked the door, and then stole my wand.”

“One: I dragged you down here because you kept running away from me whenever I tried to confront you; two: I locked the door and took your wand because you have a habit of attacking me and then fleeing, which, I may remind you, you just tried to do; and three: let’s not forget that you were the one perving on me in the changing rooms the other day, not to mention all the other things that you have been doing. I’m not stupid, Weasley. I do know what you have been trying to do.”

Pink flooded her cheeks. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I mean, I—”

He smirked. “Go on, Weasley. Just say it.”

She shook her head.

“Then I’ll just have to say it for you.”

Ginny wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but then he was leaning forward, his face swimming before her eyes in a blur of blond and grey. Her breath hitched in anticipation of what was to come, and then she felt their lips touch.

It was not at all like anything she had imagined. There was no desperate longing for him to deepen the kiss, no heady passion to cloud her senses. She simply felt an indescribable warmth surround her heart and a faint tingling in her lips. For all its simplicity, however, there was no denying that it was the most beautiful feeling she had ever felt in her whole thirteen years of existence.

Draco pulled away from the kiss, the smallest of smirks curling his mouth. “Is that what you wanted, Weasley?”

Ginny gave a shy smile that was oddly impish at the same time. “Actually, my version was very different, but this one will do.”

He laughed at that. “You really are the strangest girl I have ever met.”

“And you, Draco Malfoy, are the most irritating boy I have ever met.”

The smirk resurfaced. “You didn’t really think I was going to pick up the handkerchief just because you tossed it at my feet, did you? I don’t like to have my hand forced, not even by such an innovative and yet hapless schemer as yourself.”

“Oh?” said Ginny, more curious than upset that her efforts had meant nothing to him. “Then what did change your mind?”

“You,” he murmured, lightly brushing his thumb against her warm, freckled cheek. “Just you.”

They shared a small smile, and then he leaned down and kissed her again, one arm encircling her waist as he pulled her closer. It didn’t matter in that moment that all her schemes had failed miserably, for this was exactly where she had wanted to be ever since she’d seen him smile all those weeks ago. He was hers and she was his, and there was nothing, absolutely nothing that could get in the way of them now.

She would make sure of that.

XtXtX

THE END

XtXtX
End Notes:
I actually am thinking of writing a companion fic to this in Draco’s point of view, but for the mean time, here is the amazing, five-lined sequel:

“Ginny?” said Draco pensively.

“Yes?”

“There is something I have been wanting to know.”

“What?”

“Why cauldrons?”

The End (again)
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