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Chapter 21 : Chapter 21
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Ginny was sitting in the library with Draco, Luna and Blaise. They were supposed to be studying, but they were really rehashing the events of the previous night.
Luna looked at Ginny and asked, “Did you think there was anything wrong with my earrings?”
Ginny had remembered thinking that Luna’s pearl earrings had been rather sedate compared to some of her other jewelry. “No, I thought they looked great. Why do you ask?”
Luna explained, “When I was on my way back from the loo, a man stopped me and told me that diamond earrings would look better. He asked me who had given me the pearls and commented that someone should be taking better care of me. He didn’t make much sense, so I excused myself and walked away.”
Ginny frowned and looked at Blaise. Blaise traded a knowing look with Draco before he said, “That is odd. Did you catch the man’s name?”
Luna seemed to think. “He was about my father’s age, and his last name sounded familiar, but I really don’t remember it.”
Leaning over, Blaise kissed Luna on the cheek. “Your earrings looked lovely. That man was just confused. Maybe, he was a jeweler and he was going to try and sell you something.”
Ginny snorted, and Draco shot her a look. “Don’t look at me like that. It’s your bloody social circle that’s all screwed up.” She looked at Luna. “Luna, that man was hitting on you. Draco’s father included those vows of fidelity in the ceremony because it is customary for the husbands to take mistresses. That man probably thought you were someone’s mistress.”
Luna cringed and looked at Blaise. “Is that true?”
Blaise frowned. “My mother doesn’t keep husbands around long enough for them to acquire mistresses. However, in arranged marriages it is not uncommon.”
“Do I look like the type of girl who would shag someone as old as her father, because if I do I’m getting a new haircut or something.”
Ginny reached over and patted Luna’s hand. “It’s not just you. Narcissa’s friends drove me out of Malfoy Manor the first time I visited because they thought I was Lucius’ new mistress.”
Ginny nodded. “It’s sad, but true, so don’t take that man’s comments personally. I think if you aren’t old enough to be their wife, they think you fall in the mistress category.”
Luna shook her head. “That is wrong on so many levels; I don’t know where to start.”
Draco sighed. “I’m just glad my father figured out he had something worth holding onto. Otherwise, in a few years we would have been dating the same age girls.”
Blaise smiled. “Maybe, that is why my mum loses her husbands so quickly. I never really thought about it before.”
Ginny looked at Luna. “My family has never seemed so normal.”
“I’m afraid that is a little frightening.” Luna smiled as she added, “I’ve always thought Fred and George were a bit off.”
Draco covered his snort as a cough, but Ginny elbowed him anyway.
Ginny walked into her Common Room, and saw Hermione pointing her wand at Harry and Ron. “What is going on here?”
Hermione turned to Ginny. “Do I look like the kind of girl who throws her knickers at Quidditch player’s heads?”
Ginny almost laughed, but then she saw the anger flash in Hermione’s eyes. “No, you don’t. Why do you ask?”
“Apparently, your brother and Harry both assumed that I shagged Viktor.”
Ginny looked at Ron, and he gave her a pleading look to try and help him fix the situation. “Well, Hermione, all I can say is that they are both such huge Quidditch fans that they probably thought Krum would be irresistible to any woman. I’m sure they weren’t judging you in any way.”
Ron and Harry both shook their heads emphatically. “That’s all it was, Hermione. It wasn’t anything about you personally,” Ron assured her.
Hermione did not look pacified, but she did lower her wand. Ginny walked over and hugged her friend. “I’m sorry. Did I forget to tell you that all men are idiots?”
Hermione blinked rapidly. “That may have been helpful to know. Will you come up to my room for a bit? I need to talk.”
“Sure, I’ll be right up.” Ginny watched Hermione walk up the stairs, and then she walked over and whacked Ron and Harry on the arm. “What is wrong with you two?”
Harry protested. “I don’t even know how I got dragged into this. I was studying down here so that Ron and Hermione could be in our dorm room alone. Then, Hermione comes storming down the stairs with Ron spouting off about Victor and how I thought the same thing.”
“Thank you for agreeing with me by the way.” Ron muttered.
“I was afraid not to. Hermione looked like she was going to kill you.”
Ginny looked at her brother. “You do understand that you have made a huge mistake and that you need to come up with an amazing apology for being such a senseless idiot?”
Ron nodded. “I’ll owl Fred and ask him to loan me some money to by that big leather book she is always mooning over at Flourish and Blotts.”
Harry nodded. “The Annotated History of Hogwarts, she loves that book.”
Ginny patted Ron on the arm. “Be sure and get some flowers and chocolate too.” Then, she ran up to talk to Hermione.
“How can he be such a dumb-arse?” Hermione asked as she wiped her nose.
Ginny sighed. “He is male. It comes with the territory. Dare I ask how this subject came up?”
“He asked me to come and study with him in his room. I figured we would snog a bit while we studied, but he had other intentions. When I didn’t go right along with his plan, he said, “It’s not like it’s the first time for either of us.”
“Yes, like that is supposed to make a difference anyway. When I asked who he thought I’d been with, he said Viktor.”
Ginny rubbed her forehead. “I never will understand men and sports. I love Quidditch, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to run out and shag the members of my favorite team.”
Hermione snorted. “If Ron and Harry were gay, they’d be Quidditch groupies.”
Ginny shook her head. “Oh, that is a horrible mental picture for me deal with.”
Lying back on her bed, Hermione said, “I’m just so offended that they would think that. I thought they knew me.”
“They are eighteen year old boys. Their entire brains are taken up with the quest to have sex. I’m amazed they can even tie their own shoes.”
“I don’t know how your mother has survived in that house being outnumbered all these years.”
“I hope Ron has all girl children, and then when they cry to him about the insensitive prats they are dating, he’ll remember what he was like at the same age. It will probably scare the hell out of him.”
Hermione seemed to think for a moment. “I wonder if there is a curse for that?”
Ginny chuckled and Hermione joined her. “He is planning a huge apology. I suggest you give him grief until he makes with the big gifts.”
Hermione smiled. “That sounds like a plan. Plus, it will give me time to check into those curses.”
Harry looked at Ron. “You said what?”
Ron put his head in his hands. “I know. It was stupid. I just can’t think sometimes because I want her so much.”
Harry clapped his hand to his forehead. “I really don’t need to know those things. It’s hard enough watching you two make cow eyes at each other all day. I do not need any details, ever. Do you understand?”
Ron nodded. “I do. No details. I promise. Now can you help me make her a card? I don’t know what to write.”
Harry frowned. “Let’s go to the library and you can get a book of poems and copy one into a card for her. It’s probably best if you don’t speak for yourself for a while.”
The next morning, Ron received two bundles in the post. He looked at them hopefully, and then went back to the Gryffindor Common Room. Ginny had agreed to lure Hermione back to the Common Room before classes started.
Hermione stepped foot into the room and saw Ron sitting on a couch with two presents and a single rose. “Hermione, can I talk to you?”
Warily, Hermione walked over and sat opposite Ron. “Hermione, I am sorry I was an insensitive prat. I’m not good with words, so I copied a poem onto this card for you.”
Hermione took the card and read the love poem that Ron had chosen for her. Underneath the sentimental prose, he had signed it, “The Dumb-arse Who Loves You.”
Hermione blinked, but she didn’t comment. Ron handed her a heavy package that was badly wrapped in gold paper. “Did you wrap this yourself?”
Ron blushed and nodded. “That is why it looks so bad.”
Hermione allowed a small smile to play across her face. When she discovered what was in the package, she gasped. “Ron, how did you pay for this?”
“Fred and George helped me out. Here, there is one more.” Hermione took the smaller package that was wrapped in the same awkward fashion. Inside she discovered her favorite chocolate.
She smiled, and then she frowned. “Ronald Weasley, if you know me well enough to know what book I want and what chocolate I prefer, then how in the world didn’t you know that I was waiting for you?”
Ron’s mouth fell open. “You were waiting for me?”
Hermione moved closer and leaned against his chest. “I’ve been in love with you forever. I thought you knew that.”
Ron put his arms around her and kissed the top of her head. “I love you too, and I promise I won’t mess up like this again.”
“You better not. You have no idea how close you came to being blasted out your bedroom window.” Hermione chuckled. “I think I could have gotten you as far as the Quidditch Pitch.”
“I am in love with a scary woman.”
“It’s best if you don’t forget that.” Hermione advised before she kissed him. “Now give me my flower.”
Ginny sat with Draco for lunch, and she felt a slight ache when she saw how happy her brother and Hermione were acting. Since they had made up that morning, their displays of public affection had been constant.
“What is with your brother and Granger?” Draco asked with disdain.
“He was an idiot, and then he apologized. Now, they are madly in love.”
“I think you got the mad part right. No one needs to hold hands all day like that.”
Ginny sighed. “I suppose you are right. I’m just happy that Hermione accepted his apology. He really does love her.”
Draco was becoming distinctly uncomfortable with this conversation, so he asked, “Do you want to go flying after dinner tonight?”
“I’d like that. The sky is really clear today. I’ll bet we’ll be able to see a lot of stars.”
After dinner, Ginny was waiting for Draco by the front door with her broom. When he came walking towards her deep in conversation with a young blond girl she’d never seen before, she had to control the impulse to swing her broom at his head.
“Ginny, this is Celeste. She just transferred to Hogwarts and was placed in Slytherin.”
Ginny looked at the way that Celeste was looking at Draco, and she decided that she’d rather swat her in the head. “Hello, Celeste. Welcome to Hogwarts.”
“Hello, Jenny. I think I’m really going to like it here at Hogwarts.”
Having her name mispronounced was one of Ginny’s pet peeves. The fact that this girl was probably doing it on purpose made it even worse. “My name is Ginny, not Jenny. Now if you’ll excuse us, Draco and I have plans.”
Celeste looked at Ginny and appeared confused. “Your the girl he is seeing? That is odd. I never would have put you two together.”
Draco could tell that Ginny was about ten seconds away from doing Celeste some type of bodily harm, so he stepped in. “Ginny and I have been seeing each other since before Christmas. It surprised a lot of people. Celeste, if you need anything, please speak to Pansy. She has the room next to yours. Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to be going.”
Celeste tilted her head to the side and batted her eyes. “Thank you for volunteering to show me around.” In a quick move, she stepped forward, kissed Draco on the cheek, and then walked off.
Draco turned to see Ginny glaring at him. “I did not volunteer. Snape caught me and told me to show her around.”
“She kissed you.” Ginny ground out between her teeth.
“Yes, well if I had seen that coming I would have avoided it. Now, do you want to go flying or not?”
Ginny reeled in her temper. The last thing she needed was Draco going back to his Common Room where Celeste would be waiting to pounce on him. “I’d like to go flying.”
Draco took her hand and pulled her out of the door. “Let’s just use your broom. We’ll ride together.” Draco sat astride the broom, and Ginny climbed on in front of him. She leaned back against him while he slowly maneuvered the broom into the air. Once he was used to having a passenger, he sped up and took them out over the castle grounds.
Ginny relaxed as Draco flew them around in a lazy pattern. When he landed them in a secluded grove of trees, she turned to him hoping he would reassure her that he had no interest in Celeste. When he leaned down and kissed her, she decided to take that as a good sign.
Later, when she was picking leaves out of her hair, she told Draco, “I want to stay the night with you tonight.”
Draco raised an eyebrow at her. “Any particular reason why?”
Ginny smiled. “I want to walk out to breakfast with you tomorrow, so that silly bint will understand exactly where she stands.”
Draco chuckled. “You could just start a cat fight in the Common Room. I could probably sell tickets to that.”
“Laugh it up. I’ll walk around holding your hand all day like Hermione does with Ron.”
“That is a frightening thought.” Draco teased as he pulled a leaf out of her hair that she had missed. “We could just shag on the Common Room couch. I think that might get the message across.”
Ginny snorted. “You think that’s funny now, but if that girl kisses you again, I may just hold you to that.”
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