The first encounter did not go well. Ginny had waited for her chance to get the blond alone, stalking him whenever she could in between classes and breaks, until finally, almost a week later, she was granted the happy delight of seeing Crabbe and Goyle take a respite from their duties as loyal minions. Draco had continued on by himself down the hallway and entered a room on her left.
Too excited at the thought of finally getting an opportunity to talk to the boy of her heart, Ginny had barged right on through the door after him, not even bothering to pay attention to what room it was that he had just entered. She had caught a glimpse of a row of cubicles, a urinal, and then a dry voice had interrupted her horrified musings with one cutting sentence:
“Are you here to get your kicks out of perving on boys taking a piss, or are you really just that stupid? Because you may not have noticed, Weasley, but this is the boys’ bathroom.”
Her response had been quite predictable. She’d flushed to the roots of her hair, mumbled something unintelligible that might have been an apology, and then fled from the toilets as fast as her legs could carry her. She hadn’t cried, though it was true that she had been mortified. What thirteen-year-old girl wouldn’t after having her crush say that to her after she had just walked in on him about to go toilet?
It was too embarrassing, but even worse was the fact that he had teased her about it later. Ginny knew, then, that she had to do something to make him view her as more than just the girl who had walked in on him in the boys’ bathroom. It was true that she had been trying to get his attention, but being the butt of his jokes was definitely not the attention that she had been going for. She wanted him to fall in love with her, not tease her about whether she was really a girl or not underneath those baggy clothes of hers, and had just been pretending all along to be a female in order to differentiate herself from her twenty-odd brothers...
Yes, it was time for action. It was time for Ginny Weasley to prove that she was indeed a girl.
One day, several hours and three not-so-stealthy stealing attempts later, Ginny sat on her bed with a collection of ‘borrowed’ magazines surrounding her. Growing up with six older brothers had its bonuses when it came to defending oneself in a fist-fight and how to play Quidditch, but it did have its downside when it came to winning a boy’s heart through the means of feminine charm.
The blunt truth was that Ginny had no feminine charm. Her uniform resembled a potato sack, and the only grace she had was the grace to admit that she had none. She wasn’t a complete tomboy—her mother had made sure of that—but it was true that she had no idea of where to begin in proving to Draco Malfoy that she was not only a girl underneath the sack, but also a very attractive and desirable girl.
That was why she needed the magazines. Ginny had read enough romance books and fairytales to know that undergoing a makeover would not only transform her from ugly duckling to swan, but would also make the boy of her dreams fall instantly in love with her. It was a foolproof plan, tried and tested by fictional heroines all over the world, and it would surely work for her. She just needed to figure out how to go about it.
A frown twisted her lips as she flicked through the pages of the glossy magazines. There was no way that she would be able to get her hands on any of these clothes, but there seemed to be a general trend in all of the pictures. Ginny was sure that she could imitate it in her own way.
She stood up from the bed and began to rifle through her drawers. Old Quidditch shirts that she had commandeered from her brothers? No. Out-of-date skirts and a woollen jumper that had a bright sunflower knitted on the front? Definitely not.
Now she knew why she always wore the potato sack, even on Hogsmeade weekends. It was easier to wear a uniform that wasn’t trendy rather than trying to explain to the other kids why she was wearing clothes that looked like they belonged in Aunt Mable’s closet or a museum. Sadly, even being the only girl in her family didn’t mean that she got her clothes brand new. Most were second-hand or hand-me-downs from distant female relatives. Most were also woollen.
“I’d might as well be a woolly mammoth,” muttered Ginny sourly, discarding yet another woollen item from the pile.
She sighed. This was not going to plan at all. What she needed was a fairy godmother, like what Cinderella had in that Muggle fairytale book. Ginny thought it was quite ridiculous that even though she lived in the magical world there was no such thing as a magical makeover. She would have thought that someone could have created a spell for that, but it seemed that there was no cure for dowdiness, and, apparently, there was no cure for a poorly stocked wardrobe either.
Alas, she had no choice but to work with the potato sack.
Ginny pulled out her school skirt and blouse. As they were both second-hand and her mother had been on a limited budget, neither was in the fashionable style normally worn at Hogwarts. Her mother had also bought them in a bigger size, assuring the disgruntled redhead that she would soon grow into them. Ginny never had.
“This is going to take a lot of work,” sighed the much-afflicted damsel.
Half an hour later, she had achieved what she thought was a relatively decent improvement. The skirt had been rolled up, now revealing a lot more thigh, and was held in place with a trusty spell that had been passed down amongst the girls of Hogwarts ever since a resourceful student had created it. The blouse, unfortunately, could not be modified so easily.
In the magazines it was the fashion to show a bit of cleavage. That would have been fine, except that Ginny had no cleavage to show off. She was thirteen and had a naturally petite build. It was inevitable that her breasts would resemble mosquito bites. It was also inevitable that she would not have a bra that might give her the illusion of having more than mosquito bites, as her mother was a conservative and did not approve of such things.
Ginny scowled at her decidedly flat chest. She knew that some girls resorted to padding, but that seemed just a little too humiliating, even for her. So she grew innovative and wrapped a cloth very tightly just underneath her nonexistent breasts, pushing them together like a corset. The effect was not dramatic, but it did the trick. She had cleavage. Almost.
She didn’t bother to wear the robe that went over top, as that really did make her look like she was wearing a sack. She would be cold, but then all worthy causes came with some sacrifices, and this was most definitely a worthy cause.
Satisfied that her clothes were in order, she then tried to do her hair nicely—‘try’ being the keyword—and applied some mascara and lipgloss, courtesy of Lavender Brown’s makeup stash. Ginny didn’t really endorse stealing from the other girls in the dorms, but where there was a will there was way, and, unfortunately, that ‘way’ meant that she had to borrow quite a few things from her fellow Gryffindors. She was sure that they wouldn’t mind…
Finally finished with her D.I.Y makeover, Ginny turned to look at her reflection to see the finished product. A grimace settled on her face. She definitely did not look like the women in the magazines, but there really was nothing else that she could do. She had to work with what she had, and this was it, nonexistent breasts and all.
Ginny returned the belongings that she had borrowed and then made her way out of the common room towards the Great Hall for breakfast. She entered the hall when it was buzzing with conversation—as she was rather late from trying to perfect her new look—and so was able to make a grand entrance. Or, at least, what might have been a grand entrance.
Normally when a girl undergoes a makeover, the people around her will pause to take a double glance or at least look suitably shocked and whisper behind their hands. Nobody did this for Ginny. In fact, nobody took any notice of her at all, though Doris, her friend, did ask her if she was going to sit down or not.
Ginny sat down, a slight crease forming on her brow. She glanced towards the Slytherin table, and spotted Draco eating and talking with his friends. He hadn’t looked at her once. It was all rather frustrating, though he did look so elegant and graceful lifting his spoon to his mouth like that.
“Hey! Ginny, are you even listening to me?”
Ginny reluctantly said goodbye to her fantasy that involved a shadowy alcove, Draco Malfoy, and a lovely snogging session, and turned her full attention to the raven-haired girl sitting next to her.
“I said, are you going to come to Hogsmeade with us today?” repeated Doris, exasperation faintly creeping into her voice.
Ginny thought about the little village. She’d already been there plenty of times before and could quite happily miss going today, but then the image of Draco Malfoy coming across her at the shrieking shack suddenly popped into her mind.
She could see it already. He would come up from the path, alone, and then his eyes—his stormy eyes—would fall on her relaxed form as she leant against the fence in that generically sexy pose she often saw women do in the magazines.
“You look different,” he would say in his beautiful, aristocratic drawl.
She would toss her hair artlessly, or perhaps fold her arms under her breast to emphasise her newly discovered cleavage.
“Like what you see?”
Draco would just smile that rare, entrancing smile, and then he would close the distance between them, his warm body soaking into hers as he leaned over her and whispered in her ear:
“Earth to Ginny! Hello! Merlin, here we go again...”
Ginny blinked. There was Doris scowling something awful at her.
“What?” said Ginny. And then it clicked. “Oh! Hogsmeade. Right. Um, yeah, sure I’ll come.”
Doris shook her head. “Honestly, Ginny. I’m beginning to wonder about you.”
Ginny could only give a sheepish smile. She really needed to stop daydreaming about Draco Malfoy.
Hogsmeade was just the same as it always was: loud, colourful and bustling with people. Ginny walked down the crowded street with her friends, arms wrapped tight around her stomach. Her eyes were trained on the lookout for any sign of a silvery-blond head as she vaguely listened to the conversation going on beside her.
Ginny rather liked Draco’s hair. It was like moonlight, pale and yet striking at the same time. Set against the mundane colours that her classmates sported, he was indeed like a silvery orb amidst a cloud of darkness, putting to shame the feeble lights of the stars that managed to shine through the shadow.
She began to feel rather poetic then. Wasn’t it just perfect how he was like the moon and she was like the sun? Blazing red and pale white, complementing and completing each other in their embrace of day and night.
“Like a lovers’ embrace,” murmured Ginny, quite caught up in her musings.
Ginny glanced up, surprised at the interruption, only to see her three friends staring at her with worried expressions on their faces. She had almost forgotten that the other girls were there. She wished that she had decided to go to Hogsmeade with Loony Luna instead of her usual friends. Luna wouldn’t have cared if Ginny had started whispering poetic nonsense to herself. The dotty blonde would have probably joined in.
“Nothing,” muttered Ginny. “I was just…”
She trailed off and shrugged. Really, what else could she say? That she was obsessed with Draco Malfoy and had gotten a little too caught up in her admiration of his hair and the questionable thoughts that had followed?
Doris sighed. “Honestly, Ginny, you’ve been acting weird all week. What’s with you?”
But Ginny wasn’t listening. She had just seen a few boys wearing green and silver scarves go walking by, one who stood out for the distinctive shade of blond that adorned his head. He seemed to have something pinned to his chest. A badge?
Ginny frowned and walked forward, hoping to get a better look. Any information about the boy was worth knowing. She was creating a list of things about him in the hopes that it would help her get him to notice her. So far she had that he liked sweets, he owned an eagle owl, he was fourteen, and he enjoyed Quidditch. In other words, not very much at all.
Perhaps this badge would give her some new insight? Perhaps he was part of a club, like Hermione was with S.P.E.W?
The Slytherin boys sat down at a table outside The Three Broomsticks. Draco was reclining in his chair like he owned not only the chair but also the rest of the village attached to it. He was saying something—something very snooty, judging by his expression. She could almost see his lips forming the words ‘my father’, but then the little fantasy of what those lips could do to her distracted her train of thought, and she soon stopped wondering about what he was saying. She soon stopped wondering about everything.
“What’s the matter, Weasley? Too poor to go inside?”
It took Ginny a moment to realise that this barb had been directed at her, and that he—the boy who had taken such a deep root in her mind—was now staring at her, albeit mockingly, while his friends continued to snicker at his remark.
“No,” was all she could think to say. “I earn my own money.”
And it was true. She did chores around the house and sometimes did babysitting for the neighbouring families to earn a few sickles here and there.
Draco seemed surprised by her blunt reply. Perhaps he had been expecting something with a little more vehemence or aggression. That was certainly the trend when it came to her lanky brother.
He considered her for a moment, his eyes slowly taking her in from head to foot, and then back again. Ginny felt her cheeks warm under his scrutiny, but underneath the embarrassment was the electrifying exhilaration of having his attention. Would he finally notice her makeover?
“I see,” he said slowly. A smirk worked its way to his mouth. “So how much are you worth?”
He laughed. It was an incredibly attractive sound.
“I mean, Weasley,” (she almost shivered at the way he drawled her name) “how much do you ask for your services? I admit, I wouldn’t have thought that even you would sink that low, but I suppose you have no choice but to put yourself on the corner with the wages your father earns.”
It took Ginny a few good seconds to comprehend what exactly it was that he was implying. Then her cheeks burned a brilliant shade of red.
Later she would think of plenty of clever retorts that she could have made in response to this remark, but at that moment she could only splutter something incoherent that might have been a denial of his claim that she was selling herself as a prostitute on the corner of Hogsmeade. It really was quite unfortunate that should have been exactly where she was standing.
Draco laughed again and tossed something at her. She caught it automatically, even in her upset state, and stared at the object in her hand. It was a badge, the same badge that he had been wearing, and had two words spelled in green on it: Potter Stinks.
“Why don’t you go sell that?” he said, still chuckling. “It might earn you more money.”
“I don’t need your stupid badge,” retorted Ginny. Though she would keep it anyway, Potter Stinks and all, simply because it had belonged to him.
“Come on, Malfoy,” interposed one of the boys. “Who cares about this dumb girl? Let’s go do something.”
Draco smirked one last time at Ginny, and then stood up from his seat. She watched him saunter off in the direction of the joke shop with his friends.
“Do you mind telling me what that was all about?” demanded an irritable female voice.
Ginny jumped and turned to see Doris scowling at her. The other Gryffindor girls seemed to have given up on their redheaded friend and had already left.
“Do you think I look like a hooker?” asked Ginny, still caught up in her own musings.
“I just got called a hooker by Draco Malfoy. Do you think I look like one?”
Doris considered the redhead for a moment. “Well, you do look a little…easy. I did wonder about that this morning, but I didn’t want to say anything in case it hurt your feelings.”
Ginny sighed. “I see.”
Well, there went that plan. It seemed that winning his affections through the means of a makeover would have to be crossed off the list. Sure he had spoken to her, he had even smirked at her in goodbye, but once again she had found herself as the butt of his jokes. Still, he had recognised that she was a girl, and he hadn’t even mentioned the toilet incident once. That could only be considered a bonus.
But there was still no denying that she was bothered by the fact that he seemed to only insult her when they crossed paths. Her feelings weren’t invulnerable, but she reassured herself with the knowledge that he would change once he started to see her merits. After all, if the Beast could change after falling in love with Belle, despite all his nasty qualities, then why couldn’t Draco Malfoy do the same? There had to be a nicer side to him hidden somewhere in that arrogant personality of his.
Ginny was determined to find it, just as she was determined to discover what would make him notice her in a more favourable light. There was a certain fantasy that she was eager to make real…
But first she needed to think of a new plan.
Author notes: I must confess that I stole the mosquito bite analogy from Bend It Like Beckham. It was just one of those things that has always tickled my humour, and I finally got the chance to use it here.
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