The next night at the Yule Ball, Ginny was leaning against the wall watching Neville dance with Susan Bones after it took five minutes of persuasion on Ginny’s part. Once he had agreed to go ask her, his date had slipped away to the far side of the room so she could see everything. Harry and Ron were ignoring their dates, Hermione was being swept off her feet, Neville was having a much better time with Hannah, and Draco was nowhere to be seen.
She had the distinct feeling that her heart had frozen into a block of ice in the twenty four hours since Draco’s blatant dismissal of her. No wonder Neville was having a terrible time before Hannah asked him to dance.
Ginny gasped as she felt a cold hand touch her bare shoulder (she had had a sixth year Hufflepuff alter her dress so it was quite as childish as it had been when her mother sent it to her) and began to spin around when another hand snaked around her waist and covered her mouth.
“It’s me, Ginny,” Draco breathed in her ear. He let her go and she turned around fully in order to stamp on his foot and storm away. “Oy! You scuffed
And that hurt!
” When Ginny didn’t bother with answering him, he jogged the few steps to her retreating back and grabbed her elbow. “Hold up a second, Weasley!”
“What, are you going to make me shine them for you?” she muttered irritably, crossing her arms tightly enough to break Malfoy’s grip on her. “I’m afraid the rumors aren’t true; Weasleys don’t have shoe polish on their person at all times in order to make a Knut.” He made a strange sound of protest, and she spun around to glare at him. Who was this boy?! Who was this strange boy who had sat down and read to her when she was in the Infirmary or painted a tree of apples gold on her birthday, and then turned round and made her feel about two inches tall? When would he show her who he really was? When would the snakeskin, the feathers, the blood-red paint of deceit peel away and reveal the true Draco Malfoy? Was he her friend or her enemy?
Draco made a strange floundering movement with his hands, and his usually perfectly-composed face contorted into something that may or may not have been desperation. When Ginny continued to stare, tapping one foot impatiently, he visibly wilted. They stood, frozen in a block of metaphorical ice, watching the other’s confusion and hurt play through their eyes.
“Ginny, I—” Draco stopped mid-word and steeled himself before grabbing her hand and pulling her close. Ginny stiffened and struggled for only a moment before realizing that they were dancing. Once again, Draco Malfoy had pulled a fast one on her.
“Why are we dancing?” she asked quietly, her eyes darting around to make sure no one could see them. “Draco?”
The older boy shrugged, now refusing to make eye contact with the redhead as he swayed in time to the music. “Seemed like the only way to keep you here.” Both teenagers were just barely moving, stiff as boards and making sure to keep at least six inches of air between them. Ginny’s mother had always called that “leaving room for Merlin” or something silly like that.
Ginny brushed a strand of hair behind her ear, and then hesitantly placed it on Draco’s shoulder. “So. You have me. Make it count.” She leaned in a bit closer as she whispered her words to him, and his brows furrowed dangerously.
“I wanted to apologize for yesterday,” he finally admitted. “I think you misinterpreted what I said to you, Ginevra.”
Ginny scoffed. “Ginevra? Since when do you call me that? Shall I start calling you Dra—?”
“No, no! That’s quite alright,” Draco turned his eyes downward, and she could swear that his cheeks began to color for a moment. “…Ginny.” Her superior smile caused him to scowl darkly, his quicksilver eyes turning a stormy gray as he let her slip easily from his arms. “Now, don’t make me regret this, Weasley! It took about seven house-elves to manage this!”
With a curious child-like tilt of her head, Ginny clasped her hands behind her back as Draco took a shrunken wrapped parcel from his pocket and inserted it to her hand. Their fingers brushed together, and he whipped his hand away from her quickly, now definitely turned an interesting shade of pink. “Don’t make a big fuss about it, okay?” he muttered before Pansy Parkinson’s voice trilled out from halfway across the hall, quite a feat for the amount of noise coming from the band and students. “I’ve got to go. Happy Christmas.”
“You too,” Ginny murmured as Draco slipped away to rejoin his date. She turned her attention back down to the tiny parcel sitting in her palm, wrapped in silver paper with a golden ribbon tied around it. What on earth could have taken seven house-elves to procure? Casting one last glance at Neville over her shoulder, she snuck out of the Great Hall and ran all the way up to her dorm to hide behind her bed hangings and open the gift. The moment she made the first rip in the paper it grew to its normal size. The paper shone even in the darkness of her dorm without lights on.
She pulled off the paper all in one go, and felt a smile creep across her face. It was a book, of course. A Collection of Dark Tales and Poems
by Edgar Allen Poe. Just as she reached to open the leather cover, Draco’s voice in her mind caused her to hesitate. She had misinterpreted what he had said! He hadn’t meant they were finished being friends at all!
With a grin and happy sigh, Ginny fell back onto her bed in a large heap of cheap taffeta and tulle, hugging the book to her chest.
The rest of the year seemed to pass in a blur to Ginny; everything between her nocturnal meetings with Draco didn’t seem as significant as the rest of the world. And when she was with Draco, everything was focused on her with a crystal-clarity, all the sights and sounds and smells more distinct than ever before. As Draco’s voice rang in her ears, she could smell the dust and decay and fire, she could see the raven perched above the chamber door, she heard the bottles of Amontillado clanking softly together, and it was truer magic than anything she could ever have learned at Hogwarts.
Ginny knew that she should have spent her time helping Harry with the Tournament he was in, but being friends with “the enemy” made everything so hard for her. That’s why, instead of sitting in the stands around the maze at the final task, Ginny huddled up behind the bleachers with Draco and her book. She sat, biting her fingernails and not focusing on anything she was reading until Draco had to shake her a bit and tell her she had been reading the same line over and over for a full minute. She smiled apologetically, and then there was an eruption of cheers, and eerie silence, and then a scream. She moved to get up and find out what’s going on, but Draco took her arm and held her back. His eyes looked just as frightened as everyone sounded, but he forced his face to stay calm. As if he knew.
Draco pulled her back down beside him and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Once the shrieking had died down, Ginny pried herself away from his protective grip and stepped out from their hiding spot. Within moments, Hermione had spotted her and flown down to her; she was sobbing.
“Hermione, what happened?!” asked Ginny as the older girl grabbed her hands tightly.
“Gin, Cedric’s dead, and Harry’s hurt! Professor Moody took him up to the castle, but he-…” she covered her mouth with one hand and gasped back a sob. “He says that You-Know-Who’s back, Ginny!”
Ginny glanced over Hermione’s shoulder and saw Draco stand up behind her friend slowly. He had gone three shades paler than before. She gave Hermione’s hands a squeeze. “I’ll be at the castle in a few minutes; go ahead without me.” She wiped the tears from the older girl’s eyes and sent her back on her way before turning to Draco. The silence between them was strange and tense when surrounded by frantic shouting people.
“You knew this would happen.”
“No!” Draco shouted over-defensively. His hands were trembling at his sides.
“But you knew something
was going to happen, didn’t you?” Ginny demanded.
Draco’s silence was answer enough; Ginny turned on her heel and sprinted for the castle.
Her family spent that summer at Grimmauld Place, trying to reinstate the new Order of the Phoenix.
Michael Corner, who had asked her out on the train going home, had proven to be a very nice boy but took up a great amount of time.
Professor Umbridge recruited Draco Malfoy, already a snobbish Prefect, as the head of her Inquisitorial Squad. His head inflated with the role and feeling of importance that he very likely didn’t get at home, and he took his job too seriously. He even put Ginny in detention!
Ginny, in an act of retaliation, joined (and named) Dumbledore’s Army, causing her to receive even more detentions for her suspicious activities.
Draco got beaten up and got Harry kicked off the team.
Ginny took Harry’s place as Seeker, and kicked her schoolmates’ arses.
Draco helped uncover Dumbledore’s Army.
Ginny hit him with a Bat-Bogey Hex in Umbridge’s office.
Draco stayed safe in the castle, finishing his OWLs with everyone else.
Ginny went with Harry to the Ministry, and fought until she could fight no longer.
At the end of it all, watching Mrs. Malfoy greet her son at the Platform, and seeing Draco’s face as he finally seemed to realize he may not ever see his father again; Ginny still couldn’t bring herself to hate him. He was in the orchard a week later at night, and she wrapped her arms around him as he cried like a frightened child into her neck. She thought it was only because of missing his father.
After so many years of reading dark books, she should have seen the foreshadowing.
On her fifteenth birthday, beneath a golden harvest moon, Ginny kissed Draco on one pale cheek. Draco seemed to turn to stone as her lips made contact with his skin that glowed in the darkness of night. She stood before him, still a good half a head shorter, her heart on her sleeve, and he finally seemed to smile a bit. He tugged on her hair before turning to go back to his place of residence. Just before he vanished from sight, she slipped an enchanted coin and a note on how to use it into his pocket. She had gone back to her room with a secret settled in the bottom of her stomach, just as alive and strong as the Telltale Heart.
A/N: I know this chapter might seem to go really quickly, but I just had to get this last filler out of the way before the BIG stuff starts to happen! Kindly review if you have read! <3