It had taken her over a month and a half to get to the library. Homework, Quidditch practices and helping plan for the Halloween feast had all kept her from doing research on a certain spell.

Draco had backed off, no longer following her everywhere, but he still continued to look over her shoulder to make sure that she was keeping her side of the deal. Most days it was a quick glance that she was able to push to the back of her mind. Still other days, Draco was lucky he kept his distance because all she wanted to do was walk over and smack that sneer off his annoying, egotistical, handsome, gray eyed, chiseled…err – cruel, pale, ugly face.

The day after she had first put on the necklace, he had been waiting at the door to the great hall to make sure she had accepted his conditions. Of course, if anyone else were to have seen him they would never have thought he waited for the littlest Weasley. For Ginny it had been a little too obvious. As she had passed, a sneer came across his face. For now he was in control and was quite happy about it. She had been annoyed for days after that. She couldn’t get him out of her mind.

She slammed the next book down onto the table, getting a sharp look from Madam Pince, the school librarian. She was getting frustrated, this was the eleventh or twelfth book she had pulled from the self and they were slowly getting thicker.

Draco had said this dumb charm was common, but after two hours in the dusty library, you could have fooled Ginny. If she didn’t find it soon was going to have to ask for help and that would tick her off even more. She had given up lunch for this silly expedition into the massive tombs the library held. Because Malfoy had said that it wasn’t dark magic, she doubted it would be in the restricted section. Unless he had lied…

If she asked Madame Pince, then she would probably have to go into great detail about why she wanted to research the charm. Then again, if she went to ask Hermione, who knew the library backwards and forwards, she would also have to explain herself, but with the added inconvenience of having to go find her.

It was going to have to ask Madame Pince. If she spent any more time in the library she was going to go insane! Anyway she had to leave soon to warm up for the Quidditch game against Slytherin soon. This day was getting worse and worse.

She approached Madame Pince’s desk – where the old woman glared down at students who had the audacity to touch books in the library – and tried to think of something to say to her.

“Excuse me, Madame Pince. I was wondering if you could tell me where to find information on a certain charm,” Ginny started cautiously. She wanted to get this over and done with.

“Something you heard about in class no doubt. What is its name, dear?” Ginny couldn’t believe her luck. Madame Pince was staring over Ginny shoulder at a group of what looked like 4th year Hufflepuff boys. They were nuts enough to goof around under Pince’s watch and as soon as Pince had helped Ginny, the boys would be thrown out.

“Ahhhh, it’s called Allineare Onesta,” Ginny told her, checking her paper to see she had gotten it right.

“Simple, deary, look in a book called, “True Honesty: Spells and Charms That Reveal and Hide the Truth by Dorothe Siment”. I believe you should find it from there. Now if that’s all, I have business to take care of,” she said without taking her eyes off the boys behind Ginny.

“No that’s all, thank you,” Ginny answered, writing down the title and thanking Merlin for being so kind.

As she searched the shelves she played with the necklace itself. At first she had been paranoid about losing it, she hadn’t wanted Malfoy to suspect her of telling someone. She had only taken it off when she slept placing it into her small jewelry box that she locked. She also used a binding charm on it regularly so that it wouldn’t fall from her neck.

She had forgotten to wear it one morning, but as soon as she spotted Malfoy at breakfast, she had turned around and ran back to the Gryffindor tower. He must have noticed but had never said anything to her about it, as ten minutes later she walked back into the great hall with it on.

She had formed a habit of playing with it, which had made it quite obvious that she now wore it everyday. Two days after she had first received the pendant, Ron, Harry, and Hermione had noticed, so she had been forced to come up with a semi-lie to placate them. Something about seeing it in Hogsmeade once and how some Ravenclaw boy had tried to woo her with it a year or two before, but she had turned him down so she hadn’t worn it until now. Ok, maybe the term semi-lie was being loosely used, but she wasn’t about to tell them the truth. Ron would go mental and try to kill Malfoy at the breakfast table. Not to mention she’d have told them about Draco’s secret which would be totally pointless since that was why she was wearing the dumb necklace in the first place.

What a vicious circle, one of these days she was going to throttle Malfoy even if it was the last thing she did.
She found the book without much hassle. As she flipped through the pages she easily found the charm she wanted.

It had the largest section in the book. So Malfoy got a point for it actually being commonly used. As she skimmed through, she had to admit that he also got more points for it not being dark magic, and also for all the other properties that he had described.

She read the entire six pages or so and then left the library and headed upstairs to drop off her books. He had not lied or left out anything important. Malfoy had told her everything she needed to know. Most everything else in the book had been about when Allineare Onesta had been used by certain wizards.

After going to the tower, Ginny headed toward the pitch. On the way she was wished good luck by almost everyone who passed her. The Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws all wanted to win against Slytherin, which lead to a great deal of moral support for the Gryffindor players.

It was a good day for the game. It was damp from the rain that had fallen again last week, but the sun was out and everyone was cheerful, knowing that the matches would start to be a ‘freezing affair’ when the weather changed.

Ginny could tell everyone was excited. The last two years, with Harry and Malfoy captains of the opposing teams, Quidditch games between Gryffindor and Slytherin were the best the school had ever seen. They were also some of the most dangerous. The teachers often had to decide whether they were to give out detentions or cheer on their team.

McGonagall and Snape had quite a heated rivalry based on the outcome of the Quidditch games. Gryffindor had been successful in taking the House Cup from Slytherin last year, so Snape wanted it back but McGonagall was reluctant to give it up. She tried everything to spur on the Gryffindor team so that the awards would remain in her office. It had all been quite funny, but then it was strange that the teachers had time for such trivial things.

Ginny shrugged it off as she continued down the path to the pitch.

The players would be the only ones there this early. Turning the corner, she walked into the Gryffindor changing room to put on her robes and to hear Harry’s pre-game speech. He was quite good at them.

What she saw when she entered the room was definitely not what she had expected. She could feel the red climbing its way up her entire body. ‘I probably match my hair’, she thought. Simultaneously, Ginny managed to let out a small scream and shut her eyes tightly. She tried to move, she really did, but it just wasn’t happening.

Before her, Ginny had found the entirely male Slytherin team getting changed for the game. They were in varying states of undress. What they were doing in the Gryffindor changing room she had no idea, unless she hadn’t walked into the Gryffindor changing room, but the Slytherins’ instead. Which Ginny knew, she’d never live down.
Standing there, with her eyes shut, trying to forget the scene before her, Ginny could hear the rustle of towels and clothing as it was quickly pulled up in front of some particular parts.

She wasn’t sure, but she had the feeling that she had whispered something to the effect of, ‘Dear Merlin, I’m scarred for life.’ Which was quite true since seeing the Slytherin Quidditch team like this was definitely the last thing she had ever wanted.

Soon, though, the fear that she had walked into wrong changing room was quelled as Harry rushed up, taking her by the shoulders and leading her back out the door. Shouting out behind him at the same time, “Ron, I told you to wait by the door and stop the girls. You bloody idiot. Look what you’ve done to your sister.”

Right then Ginny did the unimaginable, which seemed to stop Harry right in his tracks. Standing in the door Ginny had started to laugh. Not a giggle, not a snicker, but a sound that was a true laugh. Loud and clear, but then she stopped as she heard the response to Harry’s outburst and it wasn’t Ron who replied.

“She doesn’t seem too bad off,” Draco drawled, “Take her outside Potter, we’ll be done in a minute and then your ladies can change. You might think about putting someone on guard though, so we don’t have a repeat performance. Someone better then Weasley.”

She would have probably kicked the twit at that even if it did mean having to open her eyes again, but Harry dragged her outside instead.

“Sorry,” Harry said sheepishly as Ginny opened her eyes and sat down beside the wall, “but it really isn’t your brother’s fault. I told him to do that and then five minutes later I told him I needed help with the damn brooms.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Ginny muttered. Somewhere between her laughing and Malfoy insulting her brother the mental image had disappeared. None of it really mattered. The day was still bright, the stands were starting to fill up and in the distance Ginny could see Snape and McGonagall heading towards the pitch already bickering about who was going to win. A smile formed on her face. Turning to Harry, she continued, “Why are they using our change rooms?”

“I don’t know, something about showers and charms going awry. I guess ours is the only room that hasn’t been all messed up. Don’t know the details, just that Dumbledore asked us to share best we can. Well, anyway, I’ve still got to go fix those brooms or we aren’t going have a game. Can you look out for the others?” Harry answered.

After telling him she’d ‘keep watch’ Harry retreated back into the showers still looking rather flustered. Ginny was content sitting in peace. She wasn’t in peace for much longer, however, as the Slytherin team paraded out. Ginny hadn’t needed to stop her fellow chasers since as usual they were late.

Walking out first, Draco Malfoy led the group as she watched from her seat on the ground. What morons they all were. Just as she thought this, Malfoy turned around and caught her eye, stopping everyone behind him in the process. Could the bloody git read minds too? At this Ginny couldn’t help herself, she smiled. Which seemed to successfully irk Malfoy for some strange reason.

Ginny suddenly felt powerful and thought that stirring up trouble would be fun. “Sorry ‘bout that. Not that it was my fault.” She smiled again.

“No problem. Hope we haven’t scarred you too badly.” Why was it he could make her blush so easily? Draco continued before she was able to think about it. “You’re right though it wasn’t your fault, it was your git brother’s.”

Ginny wanted to pound his pale face off, but instead she decided that being civil would look a whole lot better.

“Good luck with the game.” She started to rise from the ground only to find his hand lying on her shoulder once again. He held her down and leaned over.

“Not that we’ll need it, but thanks. You don’t want to wear that while you’re flying. You’ll strangle yourself.”

He had moved his other hand to the heart hanging around her neck. Ginny could feel the eyes of the entire team watching Malfoy’s actions. She suddenly realized that these were the ones that had helped Malfoy shadow her the first week.

“What do you know? Let go!” Ginny was glad that had come out as fierce as she had wanted. She placed her hand around his wrist and pulled his arm away from her with what little force she had. She knew he was stronger and could have easily stopped her.

She was surprised when with the same movement she had used to remove his hand he lifted her up from the ground. The force he had used puzzled Ginny, as it was gentle and smooth. She was now staring at his chest, grumbling mentally about being so damn short.

Dropping his wrist she began to turn, but was stopped by the words he whispered not so quietly to her. Ginny was now convinced that every one of his teammates was aware of her involvement in his affairs.

“We wouldn’t want you to lose it, would we?”

Ginny shouldn’t have said anything else, she should have walked away, but all she wanted to do was hurt him- wound him- the best way she could. The words came out of her mouth like venom. All the things she had wanted to say for the last two months forced their way to the surface, but she limited herself to one sentence. A sentence that held all the emotion that she wanted to convey to him. “It wouldn’t matter, you’d still possess the keys to the ‘prison’.”

Hearing the voices of her teammates coming up behind them, feeling the tears build up in her eyes and noticing that Malfoy had finally relaxed his body in a way so that he was no longer holding her there, Ginny turned and finally walked away.

She was going to make sure that Gryffindor won the game, if it killed her. She knew if she used half the anger he’d provided they would win. He may be in control, but she wasn’t going to let him win the game too.

Ginny had hoped for an exciting game, and she had gotten her wish. It was fantastic, but the fans were enjoying much more that the players. It had been brutal from the beginning; with both teams seeming to play the same two square meters of sky and everyone determined to win.

Such competition made the chaser’s job difficult and dangerous. The ‘Gryffindor girls’- as Harry had nicknamed them- were taking a good thrashing with the beaters aiming specially for their heads. Ginny had never played a game like this before, and she was starting to wonder if anyone else on the field had either. She was starting to have trouble keeping up with her racing heart.

Players were moving so fast, Ginny was shocked that Neville was able to keep up with their movements from the booth. The crowd was a blur and so were many of the players. Gryffindor was barely leading in points and catching the snitch would still be pointless. Harry seemed to be spending more time protecting his players from bludgers than searching for the snitch anyway. Ginny had found it quite funny at first that the players seemed to keep changing positions, but after some time she had realized that it was hazardous not knowing who you needed to avoid. She was sure she had bruises on every part of her body by now, but she found it surprisingly easy to forget them and keep playing.

Right now she was racing toward the hoops on the opposite side, following Mary Bryds, who had the quaffle for Gryffindor. It was passed first to Kate Jackson and then to Ginny as they weaved their way up the field. When they finally had made it to the other end, Ginny saw the opening that they needed. Rocketing the quaffle back to Kate, the girl was able to make a shot for the left hoop.

“And Gryffindor has scored again! Making the score 140-100 with Gryffindor in the lead!” Ginny heard Neville’s comments, but paid little attention to them as the Slytherin chasers were headed back the other way, quaffle in hand. This was getting tiring. Couldn’t Harry catch the snitch soon? No sooner had Ginny thought this than she saw four streaks of color headed her way. The first one was gold, then maroon and green. The last was black. Ginny glanced around and quickly realized she was doomed.

The snitch was coming right towards her, its two seekers in hot pursuit. The last direction that she may have used for escape was blocked by a bludger that was conveniently aimed at her head. With the rest of the players also in close proximity, there was no way to escape. She also found in her quick assessment that she was higher then she would have expected.

Ginny knew that there was nothing to do except be as small as possible as the two hulking boys passed her and hope that the bludger didn’t break any of her bones.

It was going well at first, the snitch passed without Ginny even noticing. Sadly, Harry and Malfoy’s passing was a little more obvious. The boys seemed to realize her tactic and did their best to swerve around her.

As Malfoy passed Ginny had an indescribable want to catch Malfoy by the robes and pull him off his broom. Her logical side stopped her before she did, though, as it wouldn’t have helped Harry any since Madam Hooch would most likely stop the game to give Ginny a penalty.

Ginny watched their descent and noticed that everyone had stopped playing below her and was watching in silence with the rest of the crowd. This was Ginny’s fatal mistake. In the few seconds she had taken, she had forgotten the bludger. It pounded her in the back taking the wind out of her lungs for a moment. Ginny hadn’t been ready for the impact. The force from the hit had easily tossed her head first off her broom. She was headed for the ground and there was no way for her to stop it.

Since the stadium had been completely silent as everyone watched the action of the seekers, everyone heard Ginny’s piercing screams.

She could feel the attention turn to her, but little else was disguisable from the raging fear that was consuming her. She barely heard her own screams or felt the tears start to stream down her face. She tumbled head over heels, unable to keep upright. She could feel hands grasping at her hair and clothes, trying to catch her… but the nearby players’ reaction times were too slow and none of them succeeded.

It lasted forever with the time going on and on. Ginny did have some vague idea, though, that the ground was getting closer as she came level with the stands and the crowd that watched in horror. As she started to accept her fate she closed her eyes as tight as she could.

The face that Ginny found facing her against the darkness of her eyelids was the last she had expected. It was his fault. It was completely his fault. Why did those gray eyes still taunt her now that she was falling? It wasn’t fair.

Suddenly a piercing pain shot through her left arm. She was sure that her shoulder had been pulled out of the socket, but it could wait. She could live with the pain in her shoulder because Ginny had stopped falling and someone had hold of her right hand. Barely.

Just then Ginny realized that the crowd had let out a deafening cheer for her capture. She opened her eyes hoping that it would be anyone, but the one person that she knew it was. The same gray eyes that had haunted her visions met her.

Draco had her by the hand, but sweat from playing was making it hard for him to keep it in his grasp. His hand was so much larger than hers and stronger. Ginny looked down to find to her relief that she was no longer so far from the ground that if he dropped her she’d be hurt. It seemed as though he had waited until almost the last second to save her.

When Ginny looked back, Draco was no longer looking down at her. Instead he was facing where the game had begun again. Kate and Mary had gotten the quaffle back and were headed to the Slytherin end. Then Ginny saw what really concerned Draco. Harry, after seeing that Ginny was safe, had continued to chase the snitch, which had now positioned itself so that it was hovering nearer to Draco than Harry.

Ginny knew what Draco wanted to do. He wanted to drop her to the ground, knowing that she now wouldn’t be hurt by the fall. He wanted to drop her and then beat Harry to the snitch. Ginny really didn’t care about the game anymore, but she knew what she didn’t want. Ginny didn’t want to be dropped again.

“Please,” Ginny could only manage the one word, but it was enough. Draco looked back down at the girl he held in his grasp. She was so emotional that someone in the stands would have known she was shaking.

In a split second he made his decision. Draco slowed the broom even more and then lifted his other hand from the handle. Leaning down he grabbed Ginny’s left hand and pulled her up as if she weighed nothing at all. Draco then brought her up onto broom sideways in front of him. Ginny surprised herself even more when she happily melted into his chest and started to shed even more tears.

“Thank you,” it was all she could think of to say, but she meant it. At that moment she didn’t want to leave the safety he provided so she continued to cry into his chest.

Everything about his manner seemed to accept her, unlike when they had fought earlier that day. His muscles were relaxed and to her surprise she heard him shushing her in the softest, gentlest voice she had ever heard him use.

“Shhhh, quiet now. No more falling today. I promise. Shush little one, you’re safe. You’re going to be fine now, Ginny. You remind me of a kitten.” The last part he seemed to say more to himself than Ginny, but she decided to ignore it. He had one arm wrapped around her loosely and his other hand was calmly brushing the back of her hair. An even more disturbing fact for Ginny however was that she now had her own limbs clinging to his neck and chest. Again she pushed it aside to examine later.

She had never noticed how much bigger he was than her. He must have been at least twice her height. She probably looked just like a doll in a child’s arms, but she was in his arms instead.

Ginny finally realized that the game had ended. Harry had caught the snitch while Draco saved and comforted her.

Pulling away slightly, Ginny wiped away her own tears and looked up into Draco's face, but this couldn’t be Draco. Could it?

“Well then, let’s get you back down on the earth,” he continued as gently as before. “You’ll have to get your arm looked at by Madam Pomfrey. I suspect that I pulled something when I plucked you out of the air like that. Well, there we go, ground, safe, ground,” he chuckled as they finally placed their feet on the soil again.

His mindless chatter perplexed Ginny who had never considered Draco to be in anyway mindless. Then she realized what he had done it for. Just as he had kept a firm grip of her the entire time they flew down so that she knew she wouldn’t fall. He had also kept her mind busy so that she couldn’t think of falling at all. He had purposefully made her feel safe. This really couldn’t be Draco. It wasn’t possible. Had she really been so upset she had gotten such a gentle reaction from him? The answer was yes and she was still shaking.

“Thank you,” she managed to stumble out again. Ginny could hear the commotion behind her and knew that her fellow teammates were coming. Ginny didn’t know what to do now, but things were solved as Draco took control of the situation as always.

“You didn’t even lose your necklace. Imagine that, I was wrong.” He smiled and then turned to walk away. Ginny probably would have stood there gaping at his retreating back forever, but she was not allowed that luxury as her team pulled her toward the hospital wing. They were all talking about the game, their win and her fall. They were all so very loud.

Ginny needed quiet and she needed to be alone. She needed to think, desperately. Why had all this happened? It wasn’t just the fall that had bothered her, but rather all the things that Malfoy had done after the fall. It didn’t make sense. None of it did, especially the part where he admitted he was wrong. That was just…wrong.
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