Chapter 6: Cooking with Snape and a New Career for Malfoy?

She was late for detention, and she dreaded what Snape would do to her in vengeance. It’d just been so much fun watching Ron’s eyes bug out as Hermione kept touching him as they talked, as Lockhart advised. It’d been even more fun to flirt up a storm with Seamus Finnigan, of the cute-and-sexy accent, and Lyle Tarvit, a Hufflepuff in her year who had started out by asking for her to tutor him in charms. It wasn’t until the Great Hall was mostly empty that she realized she was due in Snape’s dungeon and that speed was most definitely of the essence.

She’d just barely reached the door when she knew something was wrong. She could smell... "Burning flour?"

"Miss Weasley, I trust you have a good reason for being out of your common area after hours." Snape’s voice was cold, even as he moved the pot he had been working on away from the flame.

"Er... I had detention, sir." Ginny looked curiously at the contents of the table Snape was working at. There were small jars that looked somewhat like potions ingredients, but there was also flour, a string of sausages, what looked like a plucked chicken, rice, and... Shrimp?

"Just... Scrub those cauldrons, Weasley. Without magic, since I’m not sure precisely what your friend Mister Longbottom managed to produce this time." Snape went back to frowning at the book he’d laid out on the table in front of him, and she carried the worst of the cauldrons to the sink to get started.

After a few minutes and another batch of burnt flour, Ginny cleared her throat and said, tentatively, "Sir?"

"What is it, Miss Weasley? Can’t you see I’m occupied?" Snape was looking as irritated as she had ever seen him look, and she half regretted opening her mouth. Still, she was going to be ill if she had to smell burning flour all evening.

"Um, you need for the grease to be really hot before you add the flour. Otherwise the roux won’t turn out." She scrubbed at the cauldron furiously, avoiding looking at the teacher who might very well be plotting her demise, or at least eternal detention. "It’d also help if you used a pan with a thicker bottom, so the heat spreads better."

"What would a Weasley know about Cajun cuisine?" One thing that could always be counted on, and that was that Snape would find a way to sneer no matter what.

"You know what they say about Weasleys... Red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford? Well, all of the womenfolk keep in touch, and cousin Marie-Clare has a restaurant in New Orleans." Ginny shrugged and wiped at some stray hair before getting back to scrubbing. "If there’s one ladylike thing I can do, it’s cooking."

"Prove it." Snape crossed his arms over his chest and stepped back. Ginny looked from the cauldron she was scrubbing to the food spread out on the teacher’s table.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. "Will I still have to scrub the cauldrons?"

"Only if you fail to make something palatable, so I expect the answer to be yes." Snape’s voice was dry and managed to completely set off the Weasley gene for never backing down from a challenge.


"Ginny! What happened?" Hermione looked over her friend with horror. There were streaks of something white on her face and hair and all over her robes and there was an indescribable smell of something spicy and... Fishy?

"Stupid git didn't even have the stupid things deveined. But I showed him! Hah!" Ginny started shedding layers as she stumbled towards the bed.

"Oh, no, you're not going to sleep smelling like that!" Hermione steered Ginny towards the door and shoved a bath caddy and her new bathrobe at her. "Try not to drown in the bath, but don't come back until you smell like a girl again."

The door slammed shut and Ginny shuffled down the hallway in a half-open school robe, muttering, "Stupid, mean thing. See how nasty brat likes being serenaded by Ron. Hah!"

"I can assure you, Weasley, that it ranks in my top ten list of least favorite things in the world, right under snogging one of the heroic Gryf trio and right above doing the lambada with McGonagall." Malfoy smirked as she jumped backwards. "Now, now, Weasel. You can't be jumping into my arms in the hallways. People will talk."

"Not y-- oh, I'm too tired for this." Ginny walked into the prefects' bathroom and threw off her school robe, revealing a black bodysuit. She paused as she seemed to remember he was there, then shrugged and walked into the bathtub, gesturing to the taps with her wand.

"Um, Weasel? Are you attempting to drown yourself because of Potter never being yours?" Ginny's head would have hit the tile rather hard if Draco's hand hadn't moved rather swiftly to cushion it. "Lovely cackle. Nice to see the traditions being kept up, I didn't think they taught those any more."

"Oh, shut it, or I'll feed you great-aunt Anise's toffee." Ginny batted his hands away and sank under the water, tilting her head so her hair got completely wet.

Draco reached in and hauled her to the surface before she drowned. "Oh, scary stuff, toffee. I'm shaking in my newly water damaged shoes."

She snickered. "You should be. Where do you think the twins got some of the recipes they started with? Only, well, Anise was kinda bitter about a bad breakup, so it didn't make things grow, just... shrivel and fall off. The twins were unhappy when I found that one. Heh."

"Charming as the evil side of your nature might be, you are aware that you're practically naked, yes? I mean, I suppose I can suffer through the viewing, but I really do draw the line at taking advantage of drunken women." And drunk was the only explanation for why Ginny Weasley would be cavorting in a bathtub, babbling to Draco Malfoy.

"Pfft. I've got bathing suits that show more skin than this." She waved a hand negligently, then tried to sink under the water again while tugging at her braid.

Draco pushed her fingers out of the way and started unplaiting her hair before she could rip it all out of her scalp. "I always knew that prat brother of yours was useless."

Ginny snickered. "I swear, all six brothers and Harry had kittens when they saw it. Mum and Hermione and I were laughing for days." She sighed and leaned her head towards him. "That feels nice."

"Virginia Weasley, you are a shameful wench." His imitation of her mother's scolding-the-twins tone, which the entire school had heard often over the years, was ruined completely by her bursting into laughter. "While I agree it's funny that a Malfoy would bother keeping a Weasley from drowning, I don't think it quite calls for that level of hysteria."

"Virginia, hah! I'd kill to be named Virginia." She reached for the bottle of shampoo and almost knocked him over.

"You realize I'm only washing your hair out of self defense." He snatched the bottle out of her hand and looked thoughtful as he worked up and lather and soaped her hair. "Guinevere? Genevieve?"

"Too pretty. You think I'd go by 'Ginny' if I could go by 'Genevieve'? Honestly." Ginny closed her eyes and rolled her head forward as he massaged her scalp. "You know, Malfoy, if your father ever pisses away all his money, you could make a living at this."

Seconds later she was sputtering as a gigantic bubble of water levitated and then burst over her head. "Sorry, the thought of a Malfoy in trade had to be punished somehow. Can't have the ancestors dropping by to seek revenge." She glared at him and he lifted the bottle of conditioner, grinning. "Shall we finish? Um, Jennifer? Janine? Gwenhyfar?"

She snickered again. "Now you're reaching. But I'm still not telling. You can just call me Weasel." Ginny looked confused, then corrected herself, "Weasley."

"I'm crushed." Another splash of water and then he held out a towel. "Come on, Weasel. Get your callipygous self out of the tub and into your room, where you will wake up hungover and remember none of this."

"What's kalli-whosis mean?" Ginny looked at him suspiciously as she pulled on her robe and rubbed the towel over her hair.

"Look it up." He checked that the coast was clear, then dropped the locking charm and steered the stumbling Ginny in the direction of her room before turning around and using the colder range of the showers. Good thing the girl had been so drunk, or she'd have serious blackmail material. The only thing that puzzled him was how she'd managed to cover up the smell of alcohol. It'd be damn useful for future reference.

(A/N: It means 'having well-shaped buttocks'.)
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