Disclaimer: Canon characters do not belong to me.
Chapter Seven – Play It Again, Sam
Ginny was sitting at the piano, plunking out random notes. She had been sitting in the Room of Requirement alone because Draco was late for their practice session. Of course, she had a nagging feeling that she knew why he was late, and she most certainly did not want to think about that.
Today was Valentine’s Day and the castle was abuzz with romance – and to be honest, it was making Ginny more than a little sick, as well as another feeling that was certainly not jealousy. Today was supposed to be romantic and wonderful, but Ginny just felt awkward. It didn’t help that she’d had a little fight with Charlie just a little while ago.
Ginny and Charlie had been leaving the Great Hall after dinner, hand in hand. Charlie gently stroked Ginny’s hand with his thumb and kept nibbling playfully on her earlobe and neck. After a few moments, with Ginny feeling more and more ill at ease for reasons she didn’t want to explain, they had reached the corridor where the Room of Requirement was.
“Well, here’s me,” she said, unlacing her fingers from his and starting to walk toward the door.
“What? What do you mean?” he asked. He had a very confused look on his face.
“It’s Saturday night. Draco and I practice on Saturday nights. You know that,” she explained.
“B-b-but it’s Valentine’s Day, Ginny!” he spluttered. “It’s Valentine’s Day…you know romance, cupid, all that mushy junk you girls love.”
“I know that it’s Valentine’s Day. But, it’s also Saturday, and we have practice. It’s like a--”
“Date?” he finished for her. “Gin, I had…plans.”
“Charlie, we’ve only been together for about a month and half. We aren’t married, you know.”
“I know that, but damn it, Ginny, you’re my girlfriend, and we are supposed to spend Valentine’s Day together.”
“And we will! I’ll only be there for two hours. Can you spare me two hours?”
Charlie huffed impatiently. “Gin, I bet he isn’t even going to show up tonight.”
“Why do you say that?” she asked, trying to keep her voice casual.
“Rachel’s been chasing after him forever. He’s a hot-blooded male. I’m quite sure he’s got more on his mind than playing a few tunes with you.”
“He’s not like that,” she defended, not realizing that this was not what Charlie wanted to hear.
“I’m sure that he is, Ginny. But, fine, two hours and not a second more, yeah? I want to be with you tonight.” His voice had softened and he looked almost pathetic. He really was cute, Ginny had to admit to herself. And she really did like Draco, Charlie, Charlie, she liked Charlie.
But now here she was at the piano, and Draco was almost a half an hour late. She was beginning to get nervous. If he didn’t show up soon, she’d have to forego their session to hang out with Charlie. She most definitely did not want to do that. Then her heart jumped into her throat, as someone fumbled with the doorknob. She heard a muffled ‘who locked this?’ and then an ‘Alohomora’.
Draco walked in looking disheveled. His hair was all over the place and his jumper sleeves were pushed up. The dress shirt he wore beneath it was not tucked into his trousers. Ginny noticed little beads of sweat on his forehead.
“I surely hope I didn’t inconvenience you,” she said suggestively, while praying that her mind was just running away with her.
Draco looked himself over quickly and realized where her mind was. He started to laugh.
“Sorry I’m late. Severus asked me to help him blasting apart bushes, and it took a little bit longer than I thought it would. I had forgotten how randy everyone gets.”
“You don’t have to apologize to me,” she said shyly, inwardly trying to convince herself that she was not relieved that he wasn’t off snogging Rachel.
“I wasn’t aware that I had,” he said airily, and then joined her on the piano bench. She rolled her eyes and settled her hands on the keys. She started playing the bottom half of “Heart and Soul.” She was glad when he started playing the top half.
“The only song in the world that everyone, regardless of talent, can play on the piano,” he commented. He cut off the song with a glissando that grazed her fingers as he passed them. “Not to cut short our duet, but we only have an hour and a half, because I bet you’re just dying to get back to your boyfriend. You know, I’m actually surprised that you’re here.”
“I – how did you – I mean, yeah we’re doing something later tonight,” she said. “Erm, what do you want to work on?”
“That is entirely up to you, milady. Pick your poison,” he said, cheekily.
“Aren’t we in a good mood?” she said, giggling as he pretended to flip out the tails on a tuxedo coat and sit down again.
“I haven’t gotten much playing time this week, so I was actually looking forward to tonight.”
“And the last two weeks you weren’t looking forward to it?” she asked.
“Of course not! Don’t you know how much of a burden this is for me?” he drawled, but then he smiled to show Ginny that he was joking. He began playing the “Moonlight Sonata.” Ginny was content just to sit and watch him for a few minutes. He was so at ease, truly in his element as a musician. She loved the way his hands just floated over the piano, swooping down to play the keys at exactly the right moment. She loved the way that his eyes would close, seemingly involuntarily, and his upper body would sway ever-so-slightly in time with the rhythm.
“So do you have anything you want to sing, Ginny?” he asked quietly, eyes never opening and music never breaking.
Ginny wanted to say that she just wanted to watch him play. He looked so at peace, she didn’t want to disturb it with her singing. But instead she asked, “I thought, in the spirit of the day, how about ‘My Funny Valentine’?”
“It’s almost like you read my mind,” he said, glancing casually at her. The sheet music appeared, and he glanced over it quickly. It had been a while since he’d last played it, but it all came flooding back to him as his fingers danced across the keyboard. Ginny stood up, wet her lips, and started the song.
My funny Valentine
Sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than Greek
Is your mouth a little weak
When you open it to speak
Are you smart
So don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine stay
Each day is Valentine’s Day
Even after having heard her sing so many times before, Draco still could not understand where it all came from. She had a breezy sort of delivery that he had to admit was quite intoxicating, but she also had a very powerful emotional bite in her tone. But she was so tiny! He figured that he could pick her up with one arm with little effort. So where did the power come from?
“You know, all joking aside, you really do have a beautiful voice,” he said when she had finished. “Honestly, my word, as a gentleman.”
Ginny flushed a deep crimson and covered her mouth with a fist to hide her idiotic grin. She mumbled a ‘thank you’ as a new piece of music appeared on the piano. Draco’s brow furrowed as he looked over the pages. Ginny knew that he had never seen it before, and she admired the way he took to the task of learning it. He attacked the pages whole-heartedly, penciling in notes and fingering the keys.
“I’ve never really done much of these modern songs,” he said, conversationally. “I mean, most of them are Muggles anyway.”
“But you have to admit that their music is a lot better than anything we’ve come up with.”
“I intend to change all that,” he said.
Ginny smiled. “Me too,” she said. “But, you can’t discredit all Muggle music. You were singing one the other day, that day I caught you singing.”
“Momentary lapse of judgment.”
“Fine, fine, you stubborn thing.”
“Ginny, what type of music is this?”
“Rhythm and Blues – R & B for short, except this is actually from a musical play.”
“I like it. It’s…different,” he said. “Look at this though,” he motioned for her to join him on the bench again, “do you really think you can sing this? I mean, it looks like it’s written for a belter. You have a distinctly jazzy voice, and while I have no doubt that you can sing Porter and Arlen, this is…well…different.”
Ginny affected a look of disdain. “So you think I don’t cut it, is that it?”
“I’m not trying to demean you, Ginevra, I’m asking if you can sing this song.”
“Do not call me Ginevra ever again,” she said, horrified. He rolled his eyes and looked pointedly at the paper.
“Can you belt?”
“I can belt. Play the damn song.”
Draco raised his eyebrows, but started the song with a smile on his face. He’d glanced over the lyrics briefly, and this was quite an interesting pick for her.
And I am telling you
I’m not going
You’re the best man
I’ve ever known
There’s no way I can ever go
No no no no way
No no no no way
I’m living without you
I’m not living without you
I don’t wanna be free
I’m staying I’m staying
And you and you you’re gonna love me
If he hadn’t been trying so hard to concentrate on playing the song, Draco would have been gaping openly at Ginny. She certainly wasn’t lying when she said that she could belt. The song came to a much too quick close, and Draco played the final flourish.
“I told you I could belt,” she said, a bit hoarsely. “Except I don’t think I warmed up enough tonight.”
“That – was – huh, I don’t have any words.”
“What? The king of snark doesn’t have a snappy comeback?”
“I don’t do snark – that would be my godfather.”
“Snape’s your godfather?”
“Yes,” he said, shortly, and then he started to play something unfamiliar and classical.
“What’s that?” she asked, hoping to bring the subject back around to something that made him happy. She sat back down on the piano bench.
“It’s called ‘Theme for Lovers’ by Francisco de los Rios. He was a Spanish composer in the late 1800s, in the wizarding world. It was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.”
“It’s beautiful.” She began to sing wordlessly to the composition, adding harmony. Draco looked up at her. He was absolutely captivated by her – by the way her fiery locks looked wind-swept even indoors, by the way her cheeks were slightly flushed from the music, by the way her eyes sparkled.
“You are,” he said. Ginny stopped singing, and then he noticed what he had said. “Your voice, I mean, your voice is beautiful.”
Ginny turned her body to look directly at him. “You already said that,” she said slowly.
Ginny could feel a blush rising in her cheeks and bit down on her bottom lip to quell it. Ginny Weasley! What are you doing? You have a boyfriend! her inner voice yelled at her.
Draco was not looking at her. “You should probably go. Lovett’ll think I’ve kidnapped you or something worse,” he said softly.
“I guess – erm – I guess I’ll see you next Saturday.”
Ginny left the room feeling very odd and very confused. She headed up to Gryffindor tower to find that Charlie had set up a trail of rose petals to his bedroom. She followed them and he was sitting at a little table decorated with candles and a lace tablecloth.
“I told you I had plans. Happy Valentine’s Day, love,” he said, smiling a lopsided grin and ushering Ginny to the table.
“Thanks Charlie. This is really nice,” she replied, her tone hiding the fact that her head was in a frenzy of thoughts.
Draco was still in the Room of Requirement. He folded his arms and laid his head there, feeling very confused. Get a hold on yourself, Malfoy. She’s got a boyfriend.
Then he smiled wickedly. “Since when did that ever stop you before?” he asked aloud. But even as he said it, something in his stomach made him feel bad. This one’s different.
Several sheets of blank staff paper appeared on the piano. Draco began to play something new, a wordless tune that had been plaguing him. He paused every so often to write the notes down on the sheet music. “Happy Valentine’s Day to me,” he whispered.
Note: Heart and Soul belongs to Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser. The Moonlight Sonata belongs to Beethoven. My Funny Valentine belongs to Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going is from the musical DREAMGIRLS written by Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger. Francisco de los Rios does not exist – and if he does and wrote a song called ‘Theme for Lovers’ it is entirely coincidental. The ‘snark’ exchange belongs to my good friend Mandi and I. Chapter title is from the movie Casablanca which does not belong to me.
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