Chapter 17- Pirates, Phantoms, and the Occasional Giant Ape

Ginny was beginning to wish that she’d been to Hogwarts at this period in time instead of hers; she was finding that school had been a lot more fun before the Marauders got everything worth going to banned. For instance, at this moment time, she was walking to the annual New Years Eve costume ball with two underclassmen Slytherins that she didn’t even know.

“Who are you?”

Ginny glanced at her companions through the eyeholes of her mask. “It kind of defeats the purpose of a masquerade if I tell you.”

“Oh… right.”

Ginny rolled her eyes, suppressed a sigh, and wished she could’ve found a way to tag along with Bellatrix and Narcissa without everyone knowing immediately who they were. These two- who Ginny could swear were dressed as twin hookers- were unbelievably dense.

As it so happened, the Head Boy and Girl reached the Great Hall just about the time Ginny and her two companions did. James gave the ‘hooker girls’ a once-over, then did a double-take at Ginny. He looked very confused as he ran his eyes over her figure, but the Muggle-born Lily smiled. “Marilyn Monroe. Good choice.”

Ginny wanted desperately to smile back, but she forced herself to adopt her Slytherin behavior once more. She looked disdainfully at the King Kong and Fay Wray before her, then swept supremely into the Hall, her two hooker lackeys behind her.

About an hour later, Ginny had to admit that the whole Marilyn Monroe thing had been a good idea. The white, full-skirted dress fit her just about perfectly, and the light-skinned blonde wearing it wasn’t recognized by very many as a Slytherin. So far, she had no idea who any of her dancing partners had been; apparently, she hadn’t been the only who’d taken the ‘masquerade’ part seriously.

At the moment, Ginny was playing the part of wall flower. Looking over the crowd, her eyes kept going back to one man: a swaggering pirate with long black hair, an old-fashioned pistol, and a bottle of whiskey in one hand. His grey eyes searched the students frequently, and his sure gaze came to rest on Ginny more often than not.

One of these times, the pirate’s gray eyes met her temporarily brown ones, and he lifted an eyebrow in question. Ginny smiled secretively in return and took a step toward him; that was all the invitation this pirate needed. Setting his whiskey bottle down decisively, if rather regretfully, he abandoned his swaggering gait to stride purposefully across the room.

“Hi, gorgeous.”

Ginny’s smile grew; it was Sirius’s voice coming from underneath that three-tiered hat. “Hey, rebel.”

Sirius’s jaw dropped. “Isendre?”

“The one and only.”

“You look hot.” Sirius reached out and pulled one of her tight blonde curls, grinning as it sprang back into place. “Want to dance?”

“I’d love it.”

Sirius grasped Ginny’s elbow firmly in one tattooed hand and pulled her out onto the dance floor. The song changed from an upbeat one to a slow ballad, and she stepped close to him without embarrassment. Sirius wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer, grinning at the wry smile she shot him.

“We weren’t close enough, huh?”

“Nope.” His unrepentant grin was so comical that Ginny just had to smile back. “I haven’t talked to you in a while. How’s life with the Slythies?”

Ginny glanced around to make sure no one was listening before answering. “It’s actually not as terrible as I would’ve imagined it. I mean, they certainly have some… obscured views on what I would consider general morals, but they’re not all bad. I actually had a lot of fun over the Christmas holidays.”

Her dance partner looked unbelieving, and Ginny gave his hand a squeeze. “They don’t treat me as badly as they do you, Sirius. How were your holidays?”

Sirius brightened considerably as the subject moved away from the world he’d left behind. “My fellow Marauders completely trashed Lily’s parent’s house, and James and I terrorized her horrid sister constantly, so it was really good.”

“Sounds fabulous,” Ginny said wryly, though somewhat cherishing the mental image of Harry’s horrible aunt floating upside down.

“You have no idea.”

“Oh, I bet I do.”

Sirius started to disagree, then remembered who she lived with now. “Maybe you do.”


The current song ended and another one began, slow like its predecessor. Sirius opened his mouth to ask her for another dance but a different voice interrupted him.

“May I cut in?”

Sirius began to refuse him, but the newcomer cut him off again. “I think you’ll find that that was more of a statement than an actual question.”

Ginny reflected later that if she hadn’t put a hand on Sirius’s arm when she had, he probably would’ve started a fight. “Sirius, it’s fine. I’ll explain later.”

The pirate paused for a moment, clearly torn, then nodded. “Fine.”

Ginny watched him disappear into the crowd before allowing her new partner to pull her into a waltz. “Draco.”


“Nice costume.” Her comment was, for once, lacking in sarcasm; Draco looked absolutely breathtaking. His simple black suit, white tuxedo shirt, and white, half-face mask suited him very well. “I’ve always had a thing for the Phantom.”

When Draco didn’t reply, Ginny knew immediately that something was wrong. “What’s the matter?”

“What makes you think anything’s the matter, Isendre?”

Ginny’s temper instantly flared. “Don’t start up that frigid, superior Slytherin bit again; don’t you dare!”

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Draco’s gaze narrowed above her head, and Ginny’s glanced back to see what he was looking at.

Sirius? Oh my gosh, Draco, grow up; it was just a dance.”

“Did I say I had a problem with it?”

“You're making it more than a little obvious, Draco. Honestly, why do you care?”

Draco ducked a bit, his face very close to Ginny’s. “Should I not care when my girlfriend is shamelessly throwing herself at a drunken pirate?”

Ginny dropped Draco’s hand, stepping back in disgust. “Ugh, you’re so unbelievable, Draco!” He took a step toward her, and Ginny held up a hand. “No! You leave me alone until you can get over your paranoid jealously issues!”

She stalked away.
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