Draco slammed his book down in frustration and glared at the wall. He couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything, no matter how hard he tried! It had been two days since his kiss with Ginny Weasley, but he hadn’t stopped thinking about it. It occupied every waking minute.
He smiled as he thought of it again. Her lips had been soft and full, feeling absolutely wonderful pressed against his. She had been reluctant at first, but then she’d responded with a kiss of her own. Her hands had lightly stroked the back of his neck, and, even now, two days later, his neck tingled at the memory.
Draco shivered slightly, wondering why she affected him like this. He’d dated other girls, ones, unlike Weasley, that he actually liked and could have civil conversations with. But none of them had excited this sort of attraction in him. He wondered what was different about her.
It wasn’t her manner, surely. She was loud and obnoxious, much like her… what was it… fourteen brothers? It couldn’t have had anything to do with her bearing or her clothes, as she was rather… graceless, and her robes were all hand-me-downs.
She was fiery and passionate, a stark contrast to the simpering girls who often threw themselves at him. More often than not, she was completely annoying. The two of them couldn’t be in the same room for more than five minutes without arguing or pulling out their wands.
And yet, here he was, unable to stop thinking about her. Not just thinking about her, but enjoying the thoughts he was having. Remembering the feel of her hair and wanting to touch it again. Remembering the way she smelled, like some sweet, exotic flower he couldn’t recall the name of.
Deciding that he needed fresh air to help clear his head so he could actually study, Draco put away his book and prepared to go outdoors. He only had thirty minutes left in his free period, so he had to hurry. He grabbed his cloak and, with a habitual check in the mirror, left the common room.
He was making his way past the Dark Arts classroom, trying not to hear the tortured screams coming from inside, when he heard someone yelling behind him.
“Draco! Draco, wait!” called whoever it was.
He managed a few more steps before they caught up with him. He was pulled to a stop by his former girlfriend. “Hello, Pansy!” he said with a fake amiability. “How are you?”
“Don’t start with that, Draco,” she chided. “I’m in no mood to deal with your false sincerity.”
Draco shrugged. “What do you want, then. Because, frankly, I’m confused.”
“I want to talk. I miss you, Drakie!” She twined her arms around his neck and smiled sweetly at him as she spoke.
Draco exasperatedly pulled her arms off of him, the memory of another girl’s arms too fresh in his mind, and held them in front of him in hopes of preventing another attack. “You walked out on me, Pansy. It’s your own fault.”
“My fault?” She looked hurt, but Draco saw that her eyes were glittering maliciously. “I walked out because you were acting like a prat!”
Draco sighed, trying to keep himself from saying something that would make the situation worse. “What do you want me to do? I didn’t know you were upset about anything until you brought it up at the Three Broomsticks.”
“I want things to go back to the way they were before,” she replied firmly. “I don’t care that you failed the task the Dark Lord gave you. I still love you, Drakie. And I know we can make it work… if we try.”
She pulled her arms out of his grasp and wrapped them around his waist. She locked on with a vice-like grip so he couldn’t get away. Though he most certainly tried.
“It’s not that simple, Pansy,” Draco replied with a sigh. “Things can’t just ‘go back’. I’m trying to… work out my priorities. After last year… I need to figure stuff out.”
Pansy gazed up at him sadly. “Am I not a priority? Don’t you care about me anymore?”
“Pansy. We’ve been friends forever and dating for several years. I’ll always care about you.” He shifted to one side. “But with the Dark Lord giving me that assignment, and my father… I just have to do some things alone.”
Pansy looked crestfallen. “But, I’ve always been there to help you, Draco. Can’t I change your mind?”
Draco shook his head. “I’m sorry, Pansy. Not this time.” He put his hands on her shoulders and attempted to push her away.
She suddenly lunged at him and kissed him fiercely. Her arms latched beck onto his neck and pulled him closer to her. He finally managed to pull away… and there was Ginny, standing at the end of the corridor, a stricken look on her face.
Ginny hurried through the corridors, hoping to make it back to Gryffindor Tower in time to gather her books for her next class. She’d overslept that morning and had been running slightly behind ever since. She hadn’t even had time to eat breakfast. It was one of those days where everything goes wrong.
She slowed down for a moment to catch her breath, feeling her head begin to spin. Missing breakfast always did that to her. She cast a charm to strengthen herself and took off again.
Ginny sighed with relief as the fat lady came into view. She still had plenty of time! “Hippogriff,” she gasped.
The portrait swung open and Ginny clambered inside. She quickly grabbed her things and hurried away again, the fat lady yelling after her to “Slow down lest you break your neck! No need to be rushing off like that!”
She ran for several minutes, only stopping once to catch her breath. She rounded the corner to the Dark Arts corridor and pulled up short. Halfway down the hall, between her and her class were Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson.
Ginny smiled as she remembered the kiss she’d shared with Draco, but the smile froze on her face at what she was seeing. Pansy had her arms wrapped around Draco’s middle, and they appeared to be having a very serious discussion. They were far enough away that Ginny couldn’t tell what they were saying.
She narrowed her eyes and watched for a minute. The two were very intent on their conversation and didn’t see her standing there. Ginny just wished she were closer and could hear them.
She was just about to step forward and interrupt them when Pansy suddenly leaped forward and enfolded Draco in a rather intimate embrace as they kissed. Ginny’s mouth dropped open.
After a minute, Draco pulled away from Pansy and looked up at Ginny. Apparently he’d discovered her presence… and looked very surprised by it. She whirled and ran away as quickly as her legs would carry her.
Stupid girl! she raged to herself. How could you let yourself get into this situation? You should have known this would happen.
Tears began to stream from her eyes. Students jumped out of her way, some yelling angrily, as she barreled through the halls, but she didn’t see or hear any of them. Bursting through the enormous entrance doors, she slowed her pace.
He obviously doesn’t care about me! He was only using me as a convenient distraction or something. Why did I let him kiss me?
She sank to the ground and buried her face in her hands. Why do I care so much? she asked herself angrily. I shouldn’t be this upset.
She suddenly became aware of someone coming up behind her. She stood up and whipped around, her wand held out in front of her. Sure enough, there was Draco, his hands held up in the air.
“You!” she screamed.
“Ginny, please listen,” he pleaded. “Pansy…”
Sparks leaped out of the end of Ginny’s wand, causing Draco to take a step back. “Don’t! I don’t want to hear your excuses! I know what I saw. You tricked me! You kissed me, and you’re still with Parkinson!” She collapsed onto her knees, the morning finally catching up with her, and moaned softly.
Draco covered the distance between them in two quick strides and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, despite her struggling. “I had nothing to do with that. I swear!”
He lifted her chin so that she was looking into his warm, grey eyes. “Pansy jumped out at me in the middle of the corridor and I couldn’t get away.”
Ginny tried to pull away, but he held her firmly. After a moment, she sagged into him, too tired to fight him anymore.
“Please believe me,” he begged.
She hesitated. He really did look sincere, and she hadn’t actually heard what was going on. From what she knew of Pansy Parkinson, the girl probably would have jumped out of him.
Ginny sighed, wiping tears from her cheeks. “I want to, Draco. It’s just all happening too bloody fast! One minute we hate each other, then we kiss, now I’ve caught you lip-locked with your ex-girlfriend. I’m confused.”
Draco gently smoothed her hair back. “I know. Me too. But I… I…” he broke off, looking distraught.
“You what?” Ginny prompted.
“I think… I think I like you,” he finally managed. Then he flushed. “I’ve hated you forever, but then… You cared for me when no one else even noticed. You were the only one who didn’t judge me. I guess I stopped hating you and didn’t realize it until I realized that I like you.”
Ginny tried to laugh, but it sounded a bit like she was being strangled. “I don’t hate you either,” she replied. “You were too depressing to hate.”
Draco made a face. “Gee, thanks,” he said. “So can you believe me?”
Ginny let her shoulders drop. “I don’t know, Draco. I’ll think about it.”
Draco planted a kiss on her forehead and pulled her to her feet, making her head spin again. He grabbed her arms to steady her and raised his eyebrows.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” she said. “I missed breakfast this morning. I’ve been a bit dizzy since then.”
“Well, we’re already late for class. Let’s just skive off and go to the kitchens. You need to eat.”
“That… is the best idea I’ve heard all day.”
Draco jokingly bowed and offered her his arm, which she took, a smile on her face. He led her back into the school, thinking of ways he could convince her of his sincerity.