Chapter 18 : Chapter 18
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Ginny was lying in her favorite position. She had her head on Draco’s chest, and they were looking at his new Quidditch magazine together. She was embarrassed when her stomach growled loudly.
Draco looked at her and said, “I suppose you want to go and have lunch?”
Ginny’s stomach growled again, and she blushed. “I think that is a good idea.”
Once they were both presentable, they set out for the Great Hall.
“By the way, what did you do with Demon?” Draco asked.
“He’s locked in my room. We can go get him after lunch if you want.”
“Why is he locked in your room?”
Ginny snorted. “Hermione complained that he was trying to have unnatural relations with Crookshanks.”
“Leave it to Granger to get upset over cat sex,” Draco said dismissively.
“Draco, Crookshanks is a boy.”
“What?” Draco shook his head. “We are going to have to find someone with a female cat and set him straight. If he is going to be a Malfoy, he has a certain reputation to uphold.”
When they reached the Great Hall, Ginny walked over to the Slytherin table with Draco. She noticed that several other people had abandoned House prejudices and were eating with whomever they wanted. Once they were seated, Draco asked everyone in the general vicinity. “Does anyone have a female cat?”
Daphne Greengrass looked up. “I have a female cat. Why do you ask?”
“I just acquired a male cat, and I thought he might like a little company.”
Daphne shrugged. “I don’t see the harm in that. Bella is fixed, so we won’t cause a cat population explosion.”
Blaise looked at Draco and said, “Draco Malfoy, cat pimp, who knew?”
Several people laughed, and Draco took it in stride. Ginny wondered if anyone else at the table was allowed to tease Draco in that manner.
After lunch, Draco followed Ginny to the Gryffindor Portrait Hole and leaned against the wall. “I’ll wait out here.”
“You could come in; Pansy does.”
Draco grimaced. “I don’t think so.”
Ginny crossed her arms over her chest. “I go into your Common Room.”
“Well that is a privilege,” Draco stated with certainty.
Ginny muttered something that sounded like, “Arrogant prat,” before she walked through the Portrait Hole.
She returned shortly with Demon in her arms. The cat looked at Draco and yowled. “I think that is how he greets people,” Ginny suggested.
Draco took Demon and held him against his chest. He scratched his ears a bit, and the cat started to purr. As he walked back to the Dungeon, he talked to the cat. “Now that I have your attention, there are a few things we have to discuss. Daphne has agreed to let you meet her female cat. You can spend time with her. I do not want you approaching a male cat again. Do you understand?”
The cat meowed, and Ginny said, “I’d swear he understands exactly what you are saying. Last night, Seamus made a remark about his smirk, and Demon stole his quill. By the time I got it back, it wasn’t fit to write with.”
Ginny spent the remainder of the evening with Draco, and Daphne stopped by to introduce Demon to Bella. The two animals seemed to take to each other right away, and they curled up together on a couch in the Common Room to take a nap.
About an hour before curfew, Ginny kissed Draco goodbye in his room, and walked out into his Common Room. She wanted to get back to her room to get her things in order for class the next day.
Ginny stopped in the Common Room when she saw the two cats sleeping together on the couch. She walked over to pet both their heads. Blaise Zabini looked at her and asked, “How did you do that? I tried to pet Bella, and Malfoy’s cat nearly took my arm off.” Blaise held up his arm and showed several long scratches on his forearm.
Ginny looked at Demon and said, “He is not trying to steal your new girlfriend.”
Demon smirked at Ginny, and she laughed. “Blaise come over here and try again.”
“I don’t want to,” Blaise muttered as he pouted.
“Zabini get your arse over here. I have better things to do than make friends between you and a cat.”
Blaise stood up and walked towards the couch with a skeptical look on his face. Ginny looked at Demon and said, “Demon, this is Blaise Zabini. He has no designs on Bella, but he would like to scratch her head occasionally. If you aren’t rude to him, he might scratch your ears too.”
Demon seemed to look at Blaise for a moment, and then he meowed. Ginny looked at Blaise. “Go ahead; pet Bella.”
Blaise looked at her like she had two heads, but he reached out and scratched Bella’s ears. Bella purred, and Demon smirked. Blaise looked at Ginny. “I can’t believe that worked.”
Demon yowled, and Ginny said, “I think Demon is waiting for you to scratch his head too.”
Blaise looked at Demon and tentatively reached out to scratch his ears. Demon leaned into Blaise’s hand for a moment, before he pulled away. “He’s a temperamental bastard just like his owner,” Blaise commented once he was back in his chair.
“I heard that,” Draco said from his open door.
“Well it’s true,” Blaise informed him.
Draco walked over to Ginny. “What are you still doing here?”
Blaise spoke again. “Ginny and I were just having a quick snog before she went back to her room.”
Ginny started to laugh, and then she saw the look on Draco’s face. Blaise must have seen it too, because he quickly explained, “Your cat was trying to filet me, and Ginny just introduced us, so that I wouldn’t have to lose a limb the next time I tried to pet Bella.” Blaise held up his arm to show Draco.
Draco’s glare decreased, and Blaise smiled at Ginny. “Good lord, what have you done to him? I don’t think I’ve ever seen him jealous before.”
Ginny just shrugged and reached out for Draco’s hand. “Walk me back to my Common Room?” she asked as she squeezed his fingers in what she hoped was a reassuring manner. She did not want to get into another fight when things were going so well between them again.
Draco let Ginny lead him across the castle to the location of her Common Room. When they reached the Portrait Hole, she said, “You should know that I’d never do that to you.”
Draco looked into her eyes and asked, “Why not? Zabini is handsome and rich.”
Ginny felt a momentary pang of pity for Draco. “I have feelings for you,” she admitted shyly. “I don’t want to snog anyone else, no matter what they look like or how much money they have.”
“Do you care about my money?”
“It’s hard to care about something I’ve never seen a great need for. Although, those extra houses do come in handy.”
A smile slowly spread across Draco’s face, as he looked at Ginny. “I think I believe you.”
“You should. Now kiss me good night, so that you can make it back to your room before curfew.”
Blaise walked into the Great Hall the next morning, and did a quick scan of the Ravenclaw table for Luna. He frowned when he didn’t see her. As he sat down to breakfast, he scanned the Gryffindor table. He saw that Luna was eating with Ginny.
“Instead of staring at her, why don’t you ask her on a date?” Pansy suggested as she passed him a plate of eggs.
Blaise frowned. “It was easier when the mistletoe was everywhere. I didn’t have to look for her, she just kept appearing at the right time.”
“I’m sure she didn’t appear by accident,” Pansy informed him with a sly smile.
Blaise blinked. “You mean she planned all that?”
“Poor, Blaise. I think she out maneuvered you.”
That thought made Blaise happy. He looked at Pansy and asked, “What do I do now?”
“Ask her to study with you in the library, or ask her to go with you on the next Hogsmeade weekend.”
Blaise chewed his toast for a minute as he thought. “Hogsmeade is in two weeks. Would it be too early to ask her now?”
Pansy shook her head no as she swallowed. “I think the earlier the better. If you wait too long, she might make plans with someone else.”
“I guess you’re right.”
Pansy ate the rest of her breakfast in quiet amusement. When Luna had approached her and asked her to nudge Blaise along, she had no idea it would be this easy.
Happy that she was done with classes for the day, Luna was walking to the library when she heard Blaise call her name. She turned to him and smiled. “Hello, Blaise. How was your Christmas?”
“It was great, how was yours?”
“It was nice, but I’m glad to be back at school. All of that frivolity can be exhausting.”
Blaise had no idea what she was talking about, but he didn’t mind. “Are you on your way to the library?”
“I was headed that way myself, maybe we could study together?”
“I’d like that,” she informed him as she casually reached out and slid her hand into his.
Pansy was sitting with Neville at a table in the library. When Luna and Blaise walked in, she nudged Neville. “I think they make a cute couple.”
Neville looked up from his book and smiled at the happy expression on Pansy’s face. “I guess we shouldn’t be the only happy couple in love.”
Pansy’s jaw dropped open, and she looked at Neville. “Did you just say that you loved me?”
Neville smiled. “Of course I do. I suppose I should have told you properly, but I thought you knew.”
“Could you tell me properly now?”
Neville leaned over and kissed Pansy on the cheek. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Nev.”
Neville sat back in his chair with a smile on his face. “That works out quite nicely for both of us then, doesn’t it?”
Lavender was trying to distract Harry from his homework by reading over his shoulder and breathing into his ear. Harry turned to look at her, “Lavender, it is very hard to concentrate when you’re doing that.”
“Good, I was beginning to think I’d lost my effect on you.”
Harry snorted, “Not hardly, but I do need to finish this assignment for tomorrow. If I finish this now, then we can spend some time together later.”
Lavender pouted. “I miss the mistletoe.”
Harry smiled and patted her hand. “Give me twenty minutes, and then we’ll get out of here.”
Hermione frowned as she listened to Lavender and Harry’s conversation. Lavender seemed to be effortlessly sexy. Hermione felt like she was missing the alluring girl gene. Ron kissed her often enough, but for once she would like to initiate things. She was so secure in her smart girl image, but she just didn’t feel very sexy. Maybe, she’d talk to Ginny and see what she thought.
Ginny and Draco walked into the library holding hands. They sat at the same table as Luna and Blaise. Luna looked up and smiled at Ginny. “Hello, Ginny.”
“Hello, Luna. Hey, Blaise.”
Blaise nodded at Draco and Ginny, and went back to his homework. He was silently cursing the two newcomers, because he hadn’t yet asked Luna to Hogsmeade.
Ginny stared at Blaise from under the fringe of her eyelashes. She shot Luna a look, and saw the sly smile on her friend’s face.
“Ginny, are you and Draco going to Hogsmeade together?” Luna asked casually.
Draco looked up. “There is a Hogsmeade weekend coming up?”
Ginny nodded. “In two weeks, I think. I think all four of us should go together. It would be fun.”
Blaise looked at Luna. “That sounds good to me. What do you think?”
“I think I’d like that.” Luna replied.
Blaise went back to concentrating on his homework. He had a slight idea that Luna had just manipulated him again, but he didn’t really mind.
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