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Chapter 22 : Chapter 22
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Ginny was asleep in Draco’s bed when she heard a knock at his door. She felt the mattress shift when he got up to see who it was. When she heard a girl’s voice, she assumed it was Pansy. After a few moments, Draco came back to bed and pulled her body against his.
“Is Pansy all right?”
Draco took a moment to respond. Ginny figured he was yawning. “She is fine.”
When they were getting ready for breakfast the next morning, Draco spoke. “Do you remember someone knocking at my door late last night?”
“What did Pansy want?”
Draco looked mildly amused. “It wasn’t Pansy; it was Celeste.”
Ginny stopped brushing her hair and glared at Draco. “Excuse me?”
Draco actually appeared to blush. “Celeste stopped by and said she wanted to talk. I told her that you were sleeping, and that it wasn’t a good time for a social call.”
Ginny slammed Draco’s hairbrush down with excess force. “I’m going to kill her.”
Draco chuckled and Ginny picked up the hairbrush to whack him on the arm. “I’m sure you find this terribly amusing, but I am getting really tired of people telling me that I don’t belong with you. I’m going to sit on that girl and pull out every strand of her lovely, blond hair.”
Draco smirked and caught Ginny’s arm when she tried to hit him with the hairbrush again. “I don’t let other people tell me what I should do. I like spending time with you. I’ll ignore Celeste, and so will you. She will focus on someone else, and that will be the end of it.”
On the way to breakfast, Ginny tried to feel confident in her relationship with Draco, but it wasn’t easy. Celeste looked like she was a Malfoy, or at the very least a Malfoy bride. During breakfast, she listened to other Slytherin boys talk about how pretty Celeste was. When the object of her ire finally showed up for breakfast, Ginny was ready for a fight.
Celeste walked into the Great Hall like she owned it. Males from every table looked her way. When she sat down across from Draco and Ginny, Ginny had to fight the urge to kick her under the table.
“Good morning, Draco. Hello, Jenny.”
Before Ginny could blast the girl out of her seat, Draco interceded. “Celeste, her name is Ginny. I’d appreciate it if you could remember that.”
“Of course, Draco.” Celeste batted her eyelashes at him, and Draco began to wonder if she was a bit dense.
Turning to Ginny, he asked. “Do you want to go to Hogsmeade for Valentine’s Day, or would you rather stay in?”
Ginny smiled. He really was making an effort. “I’d like to go to Hogsmeade long enough to get some chocolate, but other than that I don’t mind just staying in.”
“Thank Merlin. If you said you wanted to go to Madam Puddifoot’s, I was going to fake a violent illness.”
Ginny chuckled. “I am not a frilly, girly kind of girl. Madam Puddifoot’s makes me a bit nauseous.”
“I knew there was a reason we got on so well, maybe we’ll swing by Madam Puddifoot’s just to look in the window and make fun of the poor blokes who got stuck going there.”
Blaise looked at Ginny in horror. “Luna isn’t going to want to go there, is she?”
Ginny smirked. “I wondered, when you agreed to go with her, if you realized that it was Valentine’s Weekend.”
Blaise looked at Draco. “If I get dragged into that frilly tea shop, I’m taking you with me.”
Draco looked at Ginny. “Speak to Luna about this, would you?”
The object of their conversation showed up. “You were just talking about me, weren’t you?”
Blaise nodded. “How’d you know?”
Luna smiled. “I could see that little wrinkle between your eyebrows.”
Blaise sputtered. “I do not have a wrinkle.”
“That’s all right. I think it’s sexy.” Blaise smiled, and Luna turned to Celeste. “Hello, you must be Celeste.”
Celeste gave Luna an odd look. “Yes, and you are?”
“I am the girl who is going to warn you to stop looking at other people’s boyfriends like they are fair game.”
Celeste objected. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Luna shook her head. “Don’t play stupid.” Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a list. “Here is a list of single boys that you can flirt with. Lavender Brown asked me to pass on that she would permanently hex off your eyebrows if you ever flirted with Harry again.”
Ginny laughed, while Blaise and Draco looked at Luna with new appreciation. “I know you’re new here, but you really are starting off on the wrong foot. I suggest you get up and go sit down by those three boys.” Luna pointed out three Slytherins who were single. “Otherwise, I might let Ginny tell you what she’ll do to you if you keep eyeing up Draco.”
Celeste looked at Luna. “You’re insane.”
Luna smiled her ethereal smile. “I’ve been called worse, now toddle along before I get angry and set my pet dragon after you.”
Celeste stood up in a huff and moved down to sit where Luna had indicated. Ginny watched her flounce off and said, “Luna, I love you.”
Luna winked at Ginny. “If things don’t work out with Blaise, I’ll get back to you about that.”
Time seemed to fly by, and Valentine’s Day was suddenly a reality. Ginny and Luna were waiting for Draco and Blaise by the front entrance. When Ginny spotted the boys walking towards them, each carrying a single rose, she said, “They’re good aren’t they?”
Luna nodded with a goofy smile on her face. Blaise kissed her and presented her with the rose. “Thank you, Blaise.”
Draco smirked at Ginny, and she laughed. “Draco Malfoy, a romantic at heart.”
“Don’t tell anyone,” he teased as he kissed her on the cheek.
Walking hand in hand, the couples joined the crowd going to Hogsmeade. When they reached Honeydukes, Ginny pulled Draco inside. “Why don’t we split up to make our purchases, and I’ll meet you back here.”
“Are you planning something?”
Ginny grinned impishly at him. “I special ordered something for us to share.”
“Really, well maybe I should just come with you.”
Ginny backed away. “You’ll just have to be patient.”
“That is not my strong suit.” Draco complained as he watched Ginny make her way to the back of the store. He walked up to the counter and picked out an assortment of dark and milk chocolate truffles, which he had placed in a gold foil wrapped box. Ginny appeared by his side at the front of the store a while later.
Blaise and Luna made their way out of the throng of shoppers, and they all headed back out into the street. Luna was arguing with Blaise about something. Blaise put his arm around Luna’s waist as they walked. “But they wouldn’t call it chocolate if it wasn’t.”
“It’s a conspiracy. White chocolate is a misnomer. It’s just butterfat and sugar; there is no chocolate in it. It’s a blatant lie.”
Blaise nodded. “I see. We’ll have to write to the chocolate council and see if we can’t get this straightened out.”
Luna poked him in the ribs. “You’re making fun of me.”
“No, I’m completely serious. Think of all the uninformed people who are happily eating white chocolate with no idea that they are being fooled. We’ll be doing a public service really.”
The couples found a table at the Three Broomsticks, and they had drinks and food while they discussed inconsequential things. When they were finished with their eating, Draco looked at Ginny. “When do I find out what you bought in Honeydukes?”
Ginny gave him a smile that meant good things were about to come his way. “I think it’s best if I show you what I bought behind closed doors.”
Draco looked at Blaise and Luna. “Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s been lovely. We have to go now.”
Blaise and Luna laughed as Draco pulled Ginny out of her seat and pushed her towards the door. Luna leaned over and whispered in Blaise’s ear. “I happen to know another interesting fact about chocolate. Chocolate melts at exactly ninety eight degrees.” Blaise wasn’t sure how this was relevant until Luna added. “Body temperature is ninety eight degrees. Did you know that?”
Blaise pulled back to look at the smile on Luna’s face. “We should probably investigate that fact a bit further.”
Luna nodded. “That is exactly what I was thinking.”
When they reached Draco’s room, he looked at her expectantly. She reached in her pocket and pulled out a package. “Close your eyes.”
Draco looked at her for a moment, and then he conceded. He could hear her opening something, and then she said, “Keep your eyes closed until I tell you.” Draco felt her unbutton his shirt, and then something ticklish brushed across his neck and down his chest.
“You can open your eyes now,” Ginny informed him.
Draco opened his eyes to see Ginny smirking at him, holding a paintbrush and a bottle of chocolate ice cream topping. He looked down at his chest to see that she had painted hearts on his chest and stomach. Ginny gave an evil sounding chuckle before she started to remove the chocolate with her mouth.
When she reached the end of her trail of chocolate, she cocked her head to the side and said, “Too bad you have pants on.”
Draco groaned and hauled her to her feet where he kissed her and backed her towards the bed. He tried to grab the chocolate topping out of her hand, but she objected, “I wasn’t done yet. You are going to have to be a bit patient.”
Ginny laughed as he growled at her. She set the chocolate on the nightstand, and removed her clothing to reveal her pink knickers with red hearts.
Draco smiled as he leaned down to kiss her. “I do love your themed underthings.”
“I try to be festive,” Ginny said in mock seriousness as she watched Draco kick off his shoes and socks. When his pants followed she looked at his grey silk boxers. “You know, they sell pink boxers with hearts on them. I think they’d look good on you.”
“Not in this lifetime,” Draco informed her uttering each syllable distinctly.
“No?” Ginny asked with a small pout.
“I am more likely to wear black socks and a Viking helmet.”
Ginny burst out laughing at the mental picture that Draco had inspired. He chuckled as he watched her laugh. He had never known that sex could be so much fun.
When Celeste had chosen to direct her attention towards Ronald Weasley, she had no idea what type of error in judgment she had made. Hermione had noticed that Ron turned a violent shade of red when Celeste squeezed by him in the crowd of the Three Broomsticks, but she didn’t know why. When she asked Ron what had happened, he said in a shocked voice, “That girl just grabbed my bum.”
Hermione raised her wand and started muttering, but Harry reached for her wand. “Hermione, it’s crowded in here. You could hurt someone else.”
Hermione stopped to think for a moment, and she handed her wand over to Harry. “I’ll be back in a moment.”
Ron and Harry watched in confusion as Hermione calmly walked over and introduced herself to the girl. They watched as all of the color drained from Celeste’s face, and the people surrounding the girl started to step away from her. They saw Hermione turn to walk away, and then Celeste proved just how stupid she was by saying, “If you can’t keep him, then he isn’t really yours anyway.”
Time seemed to stand still as Hermione turned around and in one fluid motion punched Celeste in the jaw, knocking the girl off of her feet. Standing over the girl, who finally had the good sense to look frightened, she said, “I don’t need my wand to kick your arse. You best remember that.”
Spontaneous applause broke out from the girls in the Inn. Hermione smiled and nodded her head before she walked back over to Lavender, Harry and Ron. Ron grabbed her and kissed her, and the applause started again.
Blaise was trying to remember how to breathe. Luna was looking back over her shoulder at him with a very satisfied smile. “Admit it, you thought I was confused.”
“Well maybe if I knew what a cowboy was, I would understand.”
Luna chuckled as she moved off of him, and sat by his side. “A cowboy is a Muggle who rides a horse.”
“Why don’t they call him a horseman?”
Luna shrugged. “I have no idea. That is not the point. The point is a cowboy rides facing forward. Do you see where the backwards part comes from now?”
“I think I do. Now where in the world did you learn a thing like that?”
“Hermione has this Muggle magazine that talks about that kind of stuff.”
“Granger?” Blaise asked in disbelief.
Luna nodded. “Muggles print the most interesting things.”
Blaise smirked. “Maybe I’ll buy you a subscription as a belated Valentine’s day gift.”
Neville was acting nervous, and Pansy was starting to panic. He kept starting one topic, and then he would shake his head, mutter to himself, and change the subject. Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore. “Neville, are you trying to talk to me about something serious?”
Sighing, Neville nodded his head. “I’m sorry. I wanted this to be perfect.”
Pansy looked around at the interior of Madam Puddifoot’s and frowned. “I know you brought me here because you thought I’d like it, but I’m ready to leave if you are.”
Neville stood and held out his hand. “Let’s go someplace we can talk.”
Pansy’s heart skipped a beat. This could be something really good, or really bad.
When Neville led her back to school towards the greenhouses, she wondered what they were there for. Neville pulled a key out of his pocket for the greenhouse that held the new hybrid plants that their class was working on.
Once they were inside, he led her to his workstation and showed her what he had been working on. He pulled a pot forward that contained a rare orchid that was susceptible to disease. However, this orchid was thriving.
“Neville, how did you do this? It’s so healthy, and it’s such a dark shade of purple.”
Smiling shyly, Neville explained. “Do you see the plain leafy undergrowth that is surrounding the orchid? It is hardy, and it puts nutrients in the soil that support the orchid and give it that vibrant color. It’s a symbiotic relationship.”
Pansy beamed at him. “You are so smart.”
“It reminded me of us. I’m the ordinary guy, and you are this rare beauty. If you’ll let me, I’ll take care of you and nurture you for the rest of your life.”
Pansy watched as Neville pulled a ring out of his pocket and tears started to fill her eyes. He got down on one knee and said, “Pansy, will you marry me?”
Pansy launched herself at Neville, knocking him backwards into a gardening plot. She kissed him so fiercely that he began to see spots due to lack of air. When she pulled back and smiled at him, he said, “I assume that’s a yes?”
“Yes, that is a definite yes. Now where did that ring get to?”
Neville held up the ring that he had managed to hold onto through his girlfriend’s assault. “It was my great great grandmother’s. My gran sent it to me in the post. I was terrified it would get lost.”
Pansy smiled at the elegant diamond that was now gracing her left hand. “It’s perfect.”
She smiled at Neville and pushed him backwards so that he was laying down in the dirt.
“Pansy, we’re in a greenhouse.” Neville reminded her as her intention became clear.
Pansy just smirked at him. “Know anyone else who would think that this is a romantic spot on Valentine’s Day?”
“Well then, I think we’ll be fine.”
Neville decided it was in his best interest not to argue.
Ginny was lying on her stomach eating truffles from the box that he had presented her with. “These truffles are sinful.”
“So says the girl who uses ice cream topping and a paint brush in nefarious ways.”
Ginny laughed. “Did you know that they actually sell chocolate body paint?”
Ginny nodded. “Hermione get’s this magazine...”
Draco interrupted her. “Granger?”
“Yes, now stop interrupting. There is this Muggle magazine that has all kinds of tips and ideas in it.”
“I’m suddenly feeling much more kindly towards Muggles.” Draco muttered as he grabbed a truffle for himself. “Any other ideas or tips you want to try out? I am willing to help in any way that I can.”
“You’re too kind.” Ginny informed him as she giggled. Suddenly, she remembered something. “Do you know what a cowboy is?”
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