(Author’s Note) Sorry it’s taken so long. I had research papers, and finals that needed my attention, and then I had my own personal drama to deal with, but here you all go! I hope you enjoy it. Somehow, though, I think you’ll like the next chapter more than this one. This one is more of a necessary filler. Once again, I would just like to give a great big hug and shout out to my beta, DaisyMama. Last (and certainly never least) if there is anyone out there with the overwhelming desire to make my story a pretty banner… *smiles wide and bats eyelashes*
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Chapter 9: It’s All About Concentration
As this year’s captain, it wasn’t unusual to see Draco Malfoy arrive early for practice; however, even the most quidditch-obsessed individual would find three hours early a bit extreme. Today, Draco couldn’t help it. He hadn’t been able to get an ounce of sleep the night before; the kiss playing on repeat in his mind every time he dared to close his eyes.
To matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get Ginevra Weasley out of his mind. Everything about her made his nerves stand on edge, a feeling he wasn’t accustomed to feeling. Then again, that seemed to be a pattern with her. She made him think and feel the things he had never felt before.
When she first found him, he thought he was going to die. He didn’t care that it was her who found him, because he was sucking in his last few breaths anyway. Then she tried to save him. No, she didn’t try - she succeeded. It would be a lie if Draco Malfoy didn’t admit that he was in awe of her healing skills. She knew exactly what she was doing with every potion, charm and touch. Her touch…he hadn’t wanted to admit it but from the moment she had touched him while healing him all those weeks ago, he had felt a spark. He had pushed the thought away, telling him it was just the pain. Then they met again, and he felt the same spark in her touch and the same swell in his heart as she spoke to him. She treated him like an equal; she never once acted as if she was above him or below him. He wasn’t accustomed to that. But he liked it. No, that too was a lie. He didn’t like it, he loved it.
For the first time in his life he found someone who was equal to him in almost everything. And to top it off, the things he fell short it, were the things she excelled in, and vice-versa. She was daring, brave (he blamed the Gryffindor blood in her), cunning (he thought she should have been a Slytherin), and, to top it all off, she smirked at him. Yes, she had an attitude on her - and he found it completely refreshing. The smirk was the icing on his cake. No one dared try to pull of his smirk, let alone smirk at him. It was in the Malfoy blood, the smirk was. And then she used it. He knew she had no idea the power of what she was doing, but as her lips formed with the expression with a natural ease, he knew. That smirk had been his undoing.
When he had gone to meet his father last night, it hadn’t helped any that he couldn’t get that bloody smirk out of his mind. That was the last thing he needed - to have his father look into his mind just to see Ginevra Weasley. It was the last thing she needed as well.
He knew what would happen when he had left the castle that night. He knew his father would ask him what he had found out and Draco would respond with ’nothing, father’ and then give a brief excuse as to Dumbledore being guarded. Unfortunately, Lucius Malfoy didn’t care for excuses. He wasn’t accustomed to not getting what he wanted, and he wanted to know the Headmaster’s weaknesses.
What Draco hadn’t expected was for his father to be angered to the point of nearly killing him. He thought he wouldn’t be able to take any more pain, but then his father mentioned how he was going to have to resort to swarming the school in Death Eaters. That hadn’t shocked him, until he made specific mentions of the targets for that hypothetical attack. Harry Potter; Draco hadn’t been surprised. Ronald Weasley; Another given. Hermione “the Mudblood” Granger; Draco had almost flinched at the ‘mud blood’ part, which surprised even him, but he couldn’t say he was surprised at the choice of target. And then he spoke the last specific name: Ginevra Weasley. Draco thought he was going to be physically ill at the thought of her being harmed, let alone killed.
It was then that Draco made the simple mistake of questioning his father. He hadn’t even noticed the words before they flew out of his mouth. “Why? Why target them? Surely the Golden Trio has to be the most protected students in the school. And the Weaselette? What could she possibly know?”
He never received an answer to that query. Instead, he was met with several more Cruciatus curses followed by a swift blow to the head from his father’s staff. When he had come back to a hazing consciousness minutes, or possibly hours, later there was no trace of his father to be found. So he had dragged himself, however painfully, back to the castle to once again collapse in the Entrance Hall. He had hoped it was around the time of their meeting, and that Ginny might find him. But minutes were passing and she hadn’t yet showed. He had given up hope, and decided that perhaps it was better for her not to watch him die - for surely she could not save him now - when he heard faint footsteps and a familiar gasp. And the next that he knew her eyes were locked on his, and he was passing out in her arms.
When he had woken up in the girls lavatory, he hadn’t be too shocked. It wasn’t until she actually stated her worry for him that his heart grew tight and he grew speechless. What had he done to deserve her worry? To deserve her tears? It hadn’t processed what he was doing until his lips found hers and the spark he had previously felt he felt once more, only this time it was more of an explosion than a spark.
When the night had ended and they had excused the kiss, he still couldn’t be sure. He didn’t know what to do about his development. Never in his life had he been unable to convince himself of something. He could pretend that his mother was perfectly fine, perfectly safe, but he couldn’t for the life of him pretend he didn’t feel something for Ginny Weasley. So once again Draco found himself feeling a feeling he was not accustomed to: For what he was sure was the first time in his life, he felt utterly lost on what to do.
And in Draco Malfoy’s life, when he didn’t know what to do, he got on his broom and flew. To Draco, there was nothing more freeing than flying strategically through the air. Nothing could hold you back; nothing to dictate your limits. The possibilities were endless.
Now, more than four hours since he had originally stepped onto the Quidditch Pitch, he scowled as his focus for the snitch was once again interrupted. If he had to warn Crabbe and Goyle over the dangers of bludgers one more time he was going to kick them off the team altogether. He let out another growl as he lectured to his team members about their incompetence.
Getting back to the practice games, his eyes scanned the field for the familiar flit of gold. His infamous smirk spread over his lips as his eyes locked on the small winged ball of gold. Instinct taking over, he dove after the small golden snitch. His eyes were focused on only the snitch, but his mind began to slowly wander. He let out a few colorful words as his mind seemed to rage a pitiful war against his concentration.
His mind’s eye drifted to a familiar head of ginger-red hair. He closed his eyes for a millisecond before he shook his head, still chasing after the elusive snitch. Closing his eyes was one of his more stupid moves for all he saw behind his eye lids was sparkling brown eyes that he was sure could see his soul. A laugh that only he could hear rang in his ears, causing his heart to swell.
He swallowed as he yelled out another curse and brought his broom to a hover position not fifteen feet from the ground. He had lost the snitch. It should have been an easy grab and he had lost it. Closing his eyes, he ran a hand through his platinum blonde strands, attempting to bring his focus back to his task at hand. Unfortunately, while blocking out everything else, he missed Goyle’s hearty and careless swing at the bludger.
The next few minutes seemed to run continually into one as it all seemed to happen at once. Draco opened his eyes as the bludger came pelting into his broom, knocking it out from under him. His eyes wide, he fell through the air, thankful to have not been higher up than fifteen feet. He let out a groan as his back hit the ground. His head laying on the well-kempt grass he let out a moan of agony as he let out a mutter under his breath. “Ginny Weasley, this is all your fault.”
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Concentration wasn’t coming naturally to Ginevra Weasley today. At breakfast, she had attempted conversation with her favorite Head Girl, only to find her mind wandering back to the startling kiss she had experienced just the night before. Hermione, luckily, hadn’t noticed as Ginny’s eyes kept unconsciously moving to the Slytherin table. She just couldn’t help it. It was as if there was some magnetic pull, pulling her in the direction of her brother’s worst enemy.
She felt as if she should be disgusted by the thought of kissing Malfoy. He was supposed to be despicable and heartless. He was, in fact, her brother’s enemy. Hell, both of their families were enemies and had been for years. Who really knew how far back the rivalry had gone? Her parents would be ashamed of her. That alone fact should push her away from the Slytherin, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get her mind away from him. His silky hair, and how it had felt between her fingers. The look in his eyes as he promised he would be careful, as he promised he wouldn’t do anything stupid to get himself killed. And here she sat, doing quite possibly the stupidest thing she could be doing: Fantasizing about a Malfoy.
Perhaps she should just go check herself into St. Mungo’s right now. Obviously there was something wrong with her brain.
Ginny Weasley looked up from her textbook to see Snape taking another five points from Gryffindor. She shook her head as she watched Colin Creevey stare at the potions Professor in shock. She felt bad for Colin, he had inadvertently become the Neville Longbottom of her year while in the potions classroom. It really was a wonder he had made it into Advanced Potions. Turning back to her textbook, she attempted to focus back on the assigned potion.
“Add the sopophorous bean and follow it by turning counter-clockwise seven times…” She murmured to herself as she followed the directions. She let out a sigh as she made the counter-clockwise turns. Her mind began to drift away to the one thing she just couldn’t push out of her mind. ‘How could I be falling for Draco sodding Malfoy?’ Her mind questioned itself before she froze. ‘Wait. I’m falling for Malfoy? Oh damn, I’m falling for Malfoy. This is great, just great. Let’s just start the school year off with a little unrequited love followed by… Shit. How many times was I suppose to turn?’ Her eyes turned to her potion before her brown orbs grew large. ‘And why is this potion turning blue? It should be lilac. And now Snape is coming over here…’ She glanced the direction of her least favorite member of the faculty before letting her head come crashing down to the desk. Letting out a groan, she muttered to herself, “Draco Malfoy, this is all your fault.”
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