Ginny Weasley slammed her hand over her paper, and then guiltily looked up. No one had noticed the noise. Professor Binns droned on without so much as a pause, and most of the class was asleep or gazing blankly at the tops of their desks.
“Colin, you’re going to get me in trouble!” Ginny hissed.
“Aw, Gin, come on, please?”
Ginny Weasley glanced up at Professor Binns, who was droning on about the Goblin Rebellion in the same lecture he gave every year. It felt to Ginny that this was the second time he’d covered the goblins this year, but since no one paid attention, no one could tell for sure. Cautiously checking to make sure that no one else saw, Ginny passed the extra scrap of parchment to her friend.
“Sweet Merlin,” Colin barely contained his guffaw, “is this Malfoy?”
Ginny glanced sidelong at him and grinned. “What tipped you off?”
“Well, the pointy nose for one,” Colin chuckled, “but really it’s that he has that I’m-an-arrogant-git expression. It’s bloody brilliant, Gin. You are quite the artist.”
Ginny stifled a giggle and snorted instead, which resulted in another giggle. “Don’t be ridiculous, Colin. Doodling in the margins of my history notes is far from art. It’s a cartoon.”
“It’s a caricature.”
“Whatever you want to call it, give it back. I can’t have anyone seeing that.”
“What? Every Gryff in this room would think it was fantastic.”
“If Malfoy found out…I can only handle so much torture in my life. Yesterday the bottom of my bag mysteriously fell open as I walked by him, and the day before that both of my shoes came untied. He’s already figured out that I’m connected to Harry through Ron. I don’t need to give him another reason to hate me.”
Colin smothered a grin. “So the great Ginny Weasley draws secret revenge doodles instead of confronting the wanker?”
Ginny wrinkled her nose at him. “They are not ‘secret revenge doodles,’ Colin. If I wanted revenge it wouldn’t be a secret.”
“Right. So this is a therapeutic release of your pent up frustration because you can’t hex the git.”
Ginny rolled her eyes. “Maybe. Something like that.”
“Okay, then why was Ug the Unreliable imprisoned?” Hermione quizzed.
Ginny put her head in her hands. The library was humming with Sunday evening procrastinators, and Ginny and Hermione, along with Harry and Ron, had been lucky to find an empty table to study.
“He, erm, he…threw a bunch of wizards into a pond.”
Hermione sighed exasperatedly. “Ginny, that was Urg the Unclean. And he got thrown into a pond by a bunch of wizards, not the other way round. Ug was peddling leprechaun gold. Honestly, it’s not that difficult.”
Ron glanced up from his potions assignment. “This comes from the girl who turned in a four-foot essay for an eighteen-inch assignment about the bloody Rebellion.”
“Honestly, Ronald. If you’d bothered to finish the assignment in the first place…” She drifted off threateningly.
Ron sighed and turned to Harry. “I don’t understand why we have to learn about the stupid goblins in the first place. Or every year, for that matter.”
Harry stood and clapped Ron on the shoulder sympathetically. “Well, we’re going to have to finish later. It’s nearly time for dinner, and while I’m sure Hermione is content to while away in the library, I need sustenance. Come on Ron.”
Hermione scowled at him but began packing up. “Ginny, are you coming?”
Ginny gathered her history notes, rolled them up tightly, and shoved them roughly into the bottom of her bag.
“I’m going to run my bag up to the tower first. I’ll meet you there.”
She didn’t notice the scrap that fell to the floor. Unfortunately, someone else did.
Ginny left the trio and made her way to Gryffindor Tower. Rounding a corner, she heard a loud rip and moaned when everything in her bag came tumbling out onto the floor. Ginny cursed and turned around. Draco Malfoy stood behind her, arms folded, a crumpled piece of parchment in his hand.
“Honestly, Malfoy. If you ever…if I ever…” Ginny said, trying to sound threatening as she felt around for her wand, only to realize that it was on the floor, soaking in a puddle of spilled ink.
“Oh, a little angry, are we? Don’t like it when you have to pick up all your pathetic things? What are you going to do? Draw mean pictures of me? I’m so scared.”
Malfoy stepped closer so that he was inches away from Ginny and dangled her incriminating bit of art in front of her nose. Ginny was forced to look up to maintain her glare. Malfoy was quite a bit taller than Ron.
“I can do worse than draw little cartoons, Malfoy,” she spat. “Though I must say, it is a rather good likeness, you insufferable git.”
Draco pushed her back toward the wall and balled up the offending doodle.
“Let’s get something straight, Weasley. I do not tolerate being mocked, especially by the likes of you. Keep me out of your cute little pictures and don’t call me names, or you’ll wish all I was doing was ripping your bag open.”
Trapped between Malfoy and the wall, Ginny tried to dodge to the side, but he caught her smoothly and pressed her shoulder into the cold stone. Ginny had never been so close to Draco before. His eyes, while angry, glinted with mischief. The arm holding her to the wall was undoubtedly strong; Malfoy had the long body and lean strength of a Quidditch player. She could practically smell the galleons in his cologne. There was definitely more to him than pointy features and an arrogant expression. Despite herself, Ginny swallowed.
“Cat got your tongue, Weasley?”
“Erm, no.” Ginny shook her head to clear it of potentially traitorous thoughts.
Draco smirked, mild realization crossing his face. “I think I’m going to make sure that you never draw a caricature of me again, little Weasel.”
“Oh? And how do you plan to do that?”
Draco used his free hand to lift up her chin, and Ginny looked up at him in utter confusion. Realization only set in once his lips were on hers, and she tried to pull away, but by then Draco held her head firmly, his fingers entwined in her red hair. She gasped and he took full advantage of her open mouth, gently exploring it with his tongue. She realized that he tasted sweet, like honey and vanilla, which was rather unexpected. He kissed her more thoroughly than Michael or Dean ever had, and when he pulled away, he kept his hand in her hair. Ginny looked up at him with wide eyes.
“Well, Weasley? Going to mock me again?”
Ginny stared at him for a moment and then shook her head slowly.
“Good.” Malfoy held her for a long second until Ginny was sure that his mercury eyes could see through her own and read her traitorous thoughts. Slowly, he let her go and turned around to leave. Ginny stayed glued to the wall.
“Malfoy…” He looked at her over his shoulder, “You didn’t do all of those things to me because of Harry, did you? In the hallways?”
Malfoy smirked and arched a mischievous eyebrow, then rounded the corner and walked away.
Ginny stayed there until she remembered how to breathe, and then slowly gathered up her things, shaking the ink from her wand and using it to scourgify her parchment. Her next caricature of Draco Malfoy was going to be very different indeed.
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