Disclaimer: Canon characters do not belong to me.
Chapter Three – Saturday Night Rag
It was early evening on the second Saturday in November, and Hogwarts was just ending what been the longest Quidditch game in over a decade. Well, to be more precise, Seekers Edmund Woolf and Rachel Kirshner had ended the game by colliding and knocking each other off of their respective brooms. The Snitch had landed in Rachel’s outstretched palm, giving Gryffindor a win that was sure to be challenged. But, none of that mattered at the moment, as the two unfortunate Seekers were now being taken to the Hospital Wing. Ginny told the rest of her team to change out of their gear and then meet her in the Hospital Wing.
She was slightly rattled. Being team captain, she felt for some reason that this was her fault, that somehow she had caused Rachel to be ruthless in her pursuit of the Snitch. But she dismissed that thought quickly, reasoning that it was stupid to worry and Madam Pomfrey would have them back on their feet in no time.
She passed through the doors to the Wing and ran immediately to Rachel’s side. The poor girl had had the wind knocked out of her and a mighty bump swelled on her forehead.
“Did we win the match?” she asked, dizzily, eyes focusing anywhere but at Ginny.
“You bet, Rachel, nice catch,” Ginny replied, almost laughing at the sheer absurdity of it all.
Then, Madam Pomfrey came up and interrupted their moment. She shooed Ginny out into the hallway, where she ran into the rest of the team.
Ginny shrugged at the Quidditch team. “I guess we’ll have to wait until later to go visit her.” A few of them looked distressed, but Ginny just smiled and said, “She’s going to be fine. Pomfrey’ll fix her and Edmund right up. Now, let’s go celebrate a Gryffindor win, eh?”
There was a cheer from the group, which was met by shushing from Pomfrey inside the room. The Gryffindors headed back down the hallway to celebrate their fractured win.
It was nearly midnight by the time the party had dwindled to a few remaining students. Ginny decided that this would be the perfect time to sneak back to the Hospital to make sure that Rachel was okay. Not only was Rachel a friend, but she was a damned good Seeker to boot.
Covering herself in the spare Invisibility Cloak that Harry had given her, she snuck out of the portrait hole and walked quickly up to the Hospital. It was not until she was safely inside did she remove the cloak. She dropped the cloak on the floor and started walking quietly up to Rachel’s bed but froze, noticing that she was not alone.
Standing at the window, Draco was staring out, moonlight illuminating him softly. Ginny was stricken by how, well, how lovely he looked. It seemed that he figured no one would be in the Wing that late and had, therefore, done away with decorum. His arms were folded across his chest, putting a crease in the dark grey jumper that was just slightly too small for him. He wore black chino trousers and a pair of silver-rimmed glasses. His hair, which had been gelled earlier that day, had now fallen loose and framed his face. His expression was fixed intensely at something outside, and Ginny noticed that a clipboard dangled precariously from his fingers.
Not wanting to disturb the moment, Ginny reached down to pick up the cloak and then leave, but as she did so, the clipboard slipped out of his grasp and clattered noisily on the floor. Draco winced at the noise and turned around to see if any of the patients had woken up. Ginny stood up quickly and met Draco’s eyes.
“If memory serves, even 7th years have curfew, Weasley,” he said, raising his eyebrows lazily.
Ginny just stared dumbly. She didn’t understand how someone so at peace just moments before could suddenly turn and say something mean. She shook herself a bit and then replied. “I just wanted to make sure that Rachel was okay, and Pomfrey kicked me out earlier, and I didn’t think anyone would be here, and I--"
“Does your mouth always run like the Hogwarts Express?” he asked, an amused smirk playing at his lips.
Ginny felt herself redden, but said, “Only seems to happen around you.” She smirked back at him, hoping she’d made him uncomfortable. “I might ask what you are doing here so late.”
He rolled his eyes and then remembered the clipboard was still on the floor. He bent down to pick it up, his hair falling into his sightline. Ginny took that moment to give him another once-over. Draco was still crouched on the ground, but he looked up at her, causing her to flush once again.
“See anything you like?” he asked, arrogantly.
A moment of discomfort passed through her eyes, but she dismissed it. What’s the matter with you? It’s Malfoy for Merlin’s sake! “Not particularly,” she replied, haughtily. But, that was a huge lie, as Malfoy had never looked so good. Ginny closed her eyes briefly, and willed away the image of Draco as he was now, replacing it with the Draco hexing first years and calling Hermione Mudblood or hurling insults about her family. When she opened them again, Draco had turned around and was looking through the Hospital stores.
Rachel momentarily forgotten, Ginny’s curiosity was peaked and she walked up behind Draco. He was crouched down again, so Ginny for one time in her life was tall. She stood looking over his shoulder as he took potions off the shelf and made notes on his clipboard.
Irritated by how close she was standing, he tilted his head back to look up at her. “I thought you wanted to make sure your friend was okay.”
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“In a moment, I’ll be hexing you, if you don’t back off.”
Ginny knelt down behind him and pointedly put her chin on his shoulder. “Why, too close for comfort?”
Draco stiffened for the briefest of seconds and then shook her off. “Not in the slightest. Go check on your mate,” he replied.
Ginny laughed and Draco noticed how musical it was. She rocked back on her heels and stood up. She walked over to Rachel’s bed and sat down on the edge of it. Rachel was sleeping peacefully, the bump on her forehead gone.
“I’m real sorry about this Rachel. But you’ll be fine in the morning,” she said.
Draco stood up and walked over to the bedside. “What’d you do to her?”
Ginny rolled her eyes and then glared at him, saying, “I didn’t do anything. She got knocked out during Quidditch today.”
“And, aren’t you wonderful for coming here, risking detention, and making sure she’s okay?”
“Thank you. I am.”
Draco’s mouth twitched and he very nearly smiled at her audacity, addressing him like that. He bit the inside of his lower lip to quell the inadvertent smile. Then he replied teasingly, “Did you forget, however, that I am a member of this staff? And as such, I feel duty-bound to inform the Headmaster of your rule-breaking.”
Ginny was absorbed in watching his mouth. Was that…could that have been a smile? A real smile? Then the reality of what he’d said snapped her back from her reverie. “You wouldn’t really, would you? I mean, I’m not hurting anything and I’ll leave you alone and I’m sorry and oh boy, here I go again.” Her face flushed again, and she pinched her arm. “Stop yourself!”
Draco laughed…an honest to goodness laugh. “Come now, Weasley. I thought that we’d established that you weren’t attracted to me.” He quirked an eyebrow, and then turned back to the stores.
“I most certainly am not!” she said, loudly. Then she cursed and glanced around to make sure no one had awakened. “I most certainly am not,” she said again, quieter this time. She walked right up to him and tapped him on the back. He turned around, an amused expression on his face.
“Whatever you say, Weasel.”
“Ugh, there you go again! You are impossible,” she said, exasperated. She stalked toward the window, remembering suddenly that when she’d first walked in, he was staring very intensely at something out those windows. She folded her arms in the same fashion he had. “What were you looking at before?”
“The Forest,” he replied, absently. He pushed his glasses up on top of his head. “Weasley, it’s late and I’m trying to work. Now, get out before I have to remove you physically.”
“What’s in the Forest?”
Draco made a little noise of frustration, but continued cataloguing.
“What’s in the Forest?” she asked again, her voice more pronounced.
Draco stood up. “Out, Weasley!” he said.
She just laughed and pointed out the window. “Was it that shimmering in the trees? Or how about the moon?”
She’s enjoying this! Little Weasel brat, he thought. Well, time to fight fire with fire. Ginny was engrossed in looking for what Draco had been looking at and didn’t notice his stealthy approach from behind. He grabbed her by her upper arms and lifted her away from the window. She was light – he noticed that right away. He plopped her down, unceremoniously, behind him. “Out. Now.”
Ginny had gasped when he picked her up. When he put her down, she rubbed her arms where he had touched her. “That hurt, you git!”
“My sincere apologies,” he said, wryly. “Now get out of here. Go back to your rooms. Go to bed. It’s nearly 1:30 already.”
Ginny was stunned into silence. Was it really that late? Then, she felt horrid for ignoring Rachel. She vowed to come back the next day, and hopefully he wouldn’t be there again. She started to leave, when she heard him drawl, “Good night, Weasel.”
She paused in the doorway and turned around. Draco hadn’t turned around; he was still cataloguing. So he didn’t see her looking at him again, looking at how the sparse moonlight put a glow on him…looking at how the glasses changed his face somehow, looking at the way his brow furrowed in concentration…looking.
“Good night Draco.”
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