Chapter 8- Changes
“I believe those dreams, that common emotion, has to do with the reason you’re here.”
“Let me guess,” said Draco from the door. “This thing of utmost importance is going to require us to get the shit scared out of us before we can ‘truly understand’ and return to our time. Am I right?”
Ginny winced at Draco’s colorful language in front of the Headmaster, but Dumbledore merely nodded. “Yes, actually. I believe you’ll have to relive that common emotion of fear before being sent back home. Of course, I could be wrong.”
Ginny laughed humorlessly. “Yeah, right.”
“Well, Erik? What do we do?”
Draco glanced at Ginny out of the corner of his eye. “We skive off class, find a Time Turner, and get the heck out of here.”
“It won’t work.”
Draco pulled up short, staring at Ginny incredulously. “You don’t honestly believe everything that old loony said about time travel and the fifth dimension, do you?”
Ginny shrugged, but the gleam of battle lit her eyes. “Yes, actually I do. Dumbledore’s never steered me wrong before.”
“You’re pathetic.” Draco shook his head, mouth curling in distaste. “What’s to say all that ‘wisdom’ he has in our time hasn’t come from a life riddled with mistakes?”
“Nothing, but I really don’t see what choice we have but to trust him. He’s the best hope we’ve got, and this is one lifeline I’m not letting go of.”
Draco stared at her for a long time before finally nodding and stalking off. Ginny jogged to catch up, then slowed to a walk beside him.
“What do you think it is that we need to find out?”
Ginny glanced at Draco in surprise. “I don’t really know. Considering it results in fear, I’m going to assume it has something to do with Lord Voldie-wart.”
Draco grimaced, but didn’t comment on her creative nickname. “Assume makes an ass out of u and me.”
“Well, you come up with something then, brainiack! I don’t know what else it could be.”
Draco glanced down at her wearily before returning his gaze to their surroundings. “I guess it could have something to do with the Dark Lord, but somehow I doubt it. It has to specifically relate to us. What was going on when we first got here?”
“I don’t know,” Ginny said, raising an eyebrow. “I just know James and Sirius and Remus were walking the halls, and-”
“No, I mean what had we been doing right before we came?”
“Let’s see. . .I was really angry about something. . .it must’ve been the night you yelled at me for telling Hermione ab-” Ginny stopped short, her cheeks going pink. Draco, however, seemed not to notice.
“It’s got to have something to do with that, then. What else could it be?”
Ginny was rather confused. One minute she’d been walking into the Great Hall with Draco, the next she’d been tackled by a cloud of red hair.
“Where were you? I haven’t seen you all day!”
Ginny gently pried Lily’s arms off her and led her back to the Gryffindor table. “I had to talk to Professor Dumbledore about some. . .er. . .transcript records that were lost on the journey from my old school. Some of my credits got mixed up with one of my brother’s.”
James looked up at her, confused. “I thought you said your brothers went to public school.”
Ginny nodded. “They did.”
“Then, how can your credits have gotten mixed up? You were home schooled.” James paused, obviously thinking hard. “Wait, how can you have transcript records when you were home schooled?”
Lily giggled. “How do you know what transcript records are?”
Remus, sitting across the table, quickly turned his chuckle into a choking cough. Ginny had to stifle a giggle, too, as James looked at Lily with the utmost indignation. “I happen to possess great intelligence, thank you very much, I just choose to ignore it! But seriously, how do you have transcript records?”
Ginny felt her face heat as all eyes turned to her expectantly. “I. . .um. . .” Her eyes fell to Draco, watching her stutter from across the hall. “I just remembered something I need to talk with Erik about. Excuse me, won’t you?”
ญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญ“How could you slip, Weasley? What are we supposed to do now?”
“Come with me, both of you.”
Ginny and Draco jumped at Dumbledore’s sudden appearance from behind them. They did, however, follow him to the empty classroom farther up the corridor, and stood in silence as he locked the door behind them.
“Miss Weasley, I believe you just said something you shouldn’t have?”
Ginny nodded, dumbfounded.
“We will have to work quickly, then. Draco, you will pretend nothing of importance has happened. Haleigh got called away on urgent family business, and that’s why she won’t be here from now on. Ginny, you’ll have to assume a new identity. Hogwarts rarely has exchange students, though, so the sudden disappearance of one, only to be replaced by another. . .let’s just say most people would make the connection. The only way to ensure no one does will be to make you an entirely different person from who you are now.”
Ginny blinked uncomprehendingly. “Meaning?”
“Meaning, you’re going to be a Slytherin.”
Ginny stared at him in silent horror for quite a long time before choking the words out. “I- I’m what?”
“You’re going to be a Slytherin. It’s the only way to make certain no one will connect you to Haleigh Adams.”
Draco snickered at Ginny’s obvious discomfort.”
“Sorry, I must have heard you wrong. A Slytherin? Me!?”
“I’m afraid so. People were getting suspicious anyway, with you and young Bill Weasley looking so much alike.”
Ginny rested her head in her hands,exhaling very slowly.
Dumbledore continued on. “I will, of course, have to change your appearance, but I’ll leave your new personality traits up to you. Are you ready?”
Ginny shook herself out of her reverie. “Wait, ready for what?”
Dumbledore sighed. “For your new look. You can’t just go in there claiming to be someone else when you still look like Haleigh Adams.”
“Oh. . .right.”
Dumbledore nodded and waved his wand over Ginny, muttering under his breath for what felt like an eternity. In reality, only three minutes had passed when Dumbledore let his arm fall to his side.
Ginny, who’d had her eyes closed, opened them slowly to find the world pretty much the same. “I feel really tall, but that’s about all that's different.” She looked to Dumbledore, who jerked his head in Draco’s direction. Ginny looked at him and felt her stomach drop.
Malfoy, the one who’d never felt anything beyond hatred for the Weasley family, was looking at herthe way ahungry wolf looks at a rabbit caught in brambles. Ginny shied away from that gaze and looked in Dumbledore’s direction, only to find him gone. She shifted her eyes back to Draco and tensed.
“Draco? What do I look like? You’re looking at me as though you’re going to eat me.”
Draco muttered under his breath as he drew his wand. “Eating’s not exactly what I had in mind.” He conjured a mirror on the wall and turned her to face it. Ginny’s breath caught in her throat.
Vibrant red hair was now a glossy black, falling down her back in shimmering waves. Her skin had darkened from milky alabaster to a lovely chocolate tone, and her eyes were a bright, startling green. Long, French-manicured nails adorned her fingers, as well as a number of very expensive rings.
The biggest surprise, however, was her body. Ginny and Haleigh had had soft, feminine curves, but nothing special. This new woman was. . .voluptuous; there was no other word to describe it.
‘Ginny’s’ clothes had changed as well. Haleigh had had on a smooth-fitting black shirt and long blue skirt. Nothing special. The woman before her wore a daring white tube-top and tight jeans that showed off every inch of those enviable curves. Diamonds dangled from her ears, and a dark green stone with a Slytherin snake in it hung around her neck.
“Blimey,” Ginny whispered, watching alluring red lips mouth the words along with her. “I look. . .”
Ginny whirled to face Draco, ready to meet sarcasm; he just looked appreciative.
“What? It’s true. Sit down, we need to make you a new identity.”
Ginny sighed as her anger deflated and plopped down on the floor, back against the wall. Draco did the same.
“You need a name first. Something that fits the new you. . .” Draco paused, thinking hard. “Isendre?”
“Isendre.” Ginny said the name, testing it out. “It works.”
“It more than works.”
“Why are you being so nice?”
“You’re hot, and you’re a Slytherin.”
Ginny snorted. “At least you’re honest. So, how does Erik know Isendre?”
Ginny’s eyebrows threatened to disappear into her hairline. “Excuse me?”
“Either you’re dating me, or every other guy in this school is going to be after you. Need I remind you that they’re all about 20 years older than us?”
Ginny sighed. “I’ll think about it. School me on how to be a Slytherin.”
“Drop your bubbly personality. You can’t be this happy-happy girl who’s nice to everyone.”
“So, I’ve got to basically become a crappy person?”
“No, you have to become a Slytherin; there’s a difference. You can’t be Miss Innocent anymore, either; you have to be sensual." Draco ran his eyes over her figure again. “I don’t see that being much of a problem.”
Ginny glared at him and folded her arms across her chest. “I loathe you.”
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