Chapter 17 : Chapter 17
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Christmas came and went in the usual whirl of Weasley warmth. Ginny soon found herself at the train station, looking for Draco in the crowd. She didn’t spot him, so she went ahead and settled herself in her normal compartment on the train.
The train started on its way, and Ginny began to wonder where her boyfriend was. A half an hour went by while she tried to ignore Harry and Lavender sucking face. She knew they had missed each other, but it was getting a tad obnoxious. Hermione and Ron were oblivious to their surroundings as they were cuddled together and talking about what they were going to do after graduation.
Unable to take any more demonstrations of happy couples while she sat by herself, Ginny went off in search of Draco. She heard male laughter coming from a compartment, and she was about to stick her head in when she heard Blaise Zabini say, “What happened with you and the brunette after Christmas dinner?”
“She had a little too much to drink, and I escorted her back to her room.”
Ginny heard the boys laugh, and she realized what they were implying. Draco didn’t deny anything, and suddenly she felt ill. Deciding that she wasn’t ready to face him, she turned back down the hall and went into the loo. Pansy Parkinson looked up when Ginny came in. “Oh, no. What did he do?” she asked.
Ginny shook her head. “I just overheard something I shouldn’t have.”
Pansy smiled. “Ginny, you seem like a nice person, and basically Draco is not a nice person. You need to know that before you get in any deeper.”
“Thanks, Pansy. How’s Neville?”
Pansy smiled from ear to ear. “He’s wonderful.”
“That’s great, Pansy. I’m happy for you.”
Ginny sat and looked in the mirror at her reflection. The thought of Draco with another girl roiled like acid in her stomach. Deciding that there was nothing she could do about it, she started back to the compartment she had left.
She was about three feet from the door when she heard Draco call her name. “Ginny, I’ve been looking for you.”
Turning around, Ginny said, “That’s funny, because I was the one who went looking for you about half an hour ago.”
Draco studied her expression for a moment before he said, “I was talking with Zabini and some friends.”
“I’m aware of that. I heard you talking about the brunette that you escorted back to your room.”
Draco squinted at her. “Well then you need to sharpen your eavesdropping skills, because I said I helped her back to her room, not mine.”
“Is there really a difference? I heard the way they were laughing.”
“They were laughing, not me. I didn’t say that anything happened. They just assumed something happened.”
“Why didn’t you tell them the truth?”
Draco shrugged. “Why should I? If they want to think I shagged someone, it doesn’t bother me.”
“Well it bothers me.”
Draco stared at her for a moment. “You know what? I am going to go back and be with my friends. When you are being rational again, we can talk.”
Ginny’s mouth dropped open as she watched Draco walk away from her. She stalked over and opened her compartment door with a huff. Ron looked up. “What’s wrong, Ginny?”
“I just talked to Draco, and it didn’t go well.”
“I overheard some boys asking him about what happened over Christmas between him and some girl. He gave an answer that sounded like he could have slept with her. He says he didn’t, but he is letting his friends think that he did.”
“That’s not right,” Hermione said with conviction.
“I think that is the standard male approach,” Lavender stated.
Harry objected, “That’s not true.”
Lavender kissed Harry on the cheek. “Sorry, I should have said it was the normal response for a guy who is a player.”
Ginny frowned. “Now he’s mad at me because I said I didn’t want people to think he was seeing other girls.”
Ron sighed. “Gin, he’s a wanker. You knew that from the beginning.”
Ginny sniffed. “I wish people would stop saying that. I can’t help that I feel something for him. I wish I didn’t, but it’s not like I can turn it off.”
Hermione smiled. “You can’t help your feelings, but you can reign them in a bit. Don’t see him so much, and your feelings might fade. Don’t be so available to him when we get back to school. See if he’ll work to see you.”
“What if he doesn’t work to see me? What if he doesn’t care?” Ginny looked at the four people in the compartment with her, but none of them seemed to have an answer.
When they reached Hogwarts, Ginny went straight to her room. She had planned on spending the night with Draco, but since he never came looking for her, she spent the night with a smirking cat.
The next morning at breakfast, Ginny resisted the urge to look over at the Slytherin table. Hermione kept an eye on things for her and gave her occasional reports.
“He’s sitting with Zabini, but they aren’t talking much. He looks crabby and sleepy.”
Ginny frowned at her eggs. “I didn’t sleep too well last night either.”
“Pansy is glaring at him, but he is ignoring her.”
“Pansy has turned out to be pretty nice.”
“He’s getting up now, but he’s not looking over her. He seems to be avoiding looking in this direction.”
“Prat,” Ginny muttered as she looked up and followed Draco’s back out of the Great Hall.
Ginny was glad that they didn’t have classes the first day back at school. She sat in the library and went over her homework that was due tomorrow. A shadow fell across her table, and she looked up. An irritated Slytherin glared at her. “You didn’t come and see me last night,” he said in an accusatory tone.
“It’s not like I was invited,” Ginny retorted.
Draco pulled a chair out and sat down. “What is going on with you?”
Ginny’s temper began to fray. “What is going on with me? I go looking for you on the train. I hear something that upsets me. I tell you about it. You walk away from me, and then you don’t try to contact me at all.”
“Well, it was stupid to be upset over that.”
Ginny bit her lip. “I see. Please tell me how calling me stupid is supposed to make this better?”
Draco stood up and grabbed Ginny’s arm. “Come with me.”
Ginny pulled away from him. “I need to get my things first.” After packing her bag, she glared at him. “Now, where are we going?”
Draco resumed his grip on her arm. “We are going somewhere where we can argue in normal voices. It’s ridiculous to argue in whispers.”
Ginny realized that Draco was taking her to his room. She pulled her arm out of his grip. “I can walk by myself.”
Once they reached Draco’s room, she waited for him to say something. He just stared at her. Finally she walked up and poked him in the chest. “Say something.”
Draco rubbed his jaw before he said, “I had planned on finding you on the train. I had planned on spending the evening with you. I had planned on you spending the night in my bed. I am not happy either, you jealous, insecure girl.”
Ginny stood stunned for a moment. “Why didn’t you stop before that last line? I would have been happy if you would have shut up a moment sooner.”
“I get to call you jealous and insecure because you are. If you weren’t, we wouldn’t be in this little mess.”
Ginny felt like her head might explode. She sniffled to try and keep her angry tears at bay, but it didn’t work. “Fine, how would you feel if you overheard me talking to some girls about Harry spending the night at the Burrow during Christmas?”
Draco scowled at her. “Potter spent the night?”
“Yes, he did. Now how would you feel if you heard me say that I didn’t sleep much because Harry snores?”
Ginny watched as a muscle began to twitch in Draco’s jaw. “Imagine why people would assume that I know about Harry and his snoring. Imagine if they laughed, and I didn’t set them straight. How would you feel?”
Draco felt his control slipping right before he growled, “How in the hell do you know that Potter snores?”
Ginny laughed an evil laugh. “Why Draco, are you being jealous and insecure?”
Walking forward until he towered over her, Draco said, “Answer the damn question.”
Ginny smiled sweetly at him. “I know he snores because he slept in the room next to mine, and my mum forbid Ron from using a silencing charm on his room because she was afraid he’d shag Hermione, so he kept me awake all night.”
Draco stepped back, and he took a deep breath. “I see. Well, then I guess that is all right.”
Ginny walked forward and whacked him on the arm. “You’re missing the point. What if you heard me say that in the Great Hall, and I didn’t clarify where Harry slept?”
Draco seemed to consider for a moment. “I see your point. I understand why you were upset. I’ll see that it doesn’t happen again.”
Ginny glared at him for a moment. “Is that what passes for an apology in the Malfoy household?”
Draco nodded and she sighed. “I guess I’ll have to accept it then, but you might want to actually work up to saying you’re sorry.”
Draco smirked as he walked forward and put his hands on her waist. Leaning down, he kissed her neck and whispered, “That is never going to happen.”
Ginny started to retort, but he cut off her argument by kissing her. She decided that his apology was good enough for now.
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