Chapter 4 : III
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A smile came upon her face as she started heading towards the Three Broomsticks. The bell tingled quietly as she opened the door. She walked over to the bar stools and sat down waiting for Madam Rosmerta.
“What can I get you m’dear?” Madam Rosmerta questioned as she wiped off the counter.
“A shot of Firewhiskey, please,” Ginny answered.
“Isn’t it a bit early for that?” She questioned as she looked up at Ginny. Her mouth slightly dropped as she saw Ginny. “Do my eyes deceive me? Ginny Weasley?”
A smile came upon Ginny’s face, “In the flesh Rosmerta. Couldn’t get enough of this place.”
Rosmerta laughed as she grabbed a small glass. “Still want that shot?”
“Yes please,” Ginny responded with a smile.
“It’s on the house,” Rosmerta said as she slid the glass towards Ginny.
“No, no, I can’t do that.”
“I insist, especially after that interview for Witch Weekly. After you said that this was your favorite place to come for a butterbeer, it’s been off the walls busy.”
“I’m glad to hear,” Ginny answered as she downed the shot. Her throat seemed to be on fire, the pit of her stomach seemed to start bubbling. “Could I get another?”
“Sure deary,” Rosemerta responded, pouring some more liquid into the glass. “I’ll be back, got some customers.”
Ginny nodded and when Rosmerta was out of view, she downed her second glass. She closed her eyes as the burning sensation went down her throat as the little bell over the door tingled. The stool next to hers scraped across the floor. Opening her eyes, she looked over and saw a tall man with light blonde hair and gray, cold eyes.
“Malfoy?” Ginny questioned.
The man looked out of the corner of his left eye, “Weasley.”
Rosmerta returned, placing glasses in the sink. “Can I get another shot Rosmerta?”
“Surely,” she answered as she poured the liquid, yet again, into the glass. “What can I get for you sir?”
“Butterbeer,” he responded quickly. Rosmerta provided him with a mug of butterbeer and then rushed off again to her awaited customers. He eyed Ginny as she downed the shot, “Never thought you’d be the drinking type, Weasley.”
“Yeah, well,” she said as she looked at him and continued, “some things change.”
“So they do,” Draco said as he took a sip of his butterbeer. He set his glass down and looked at her, “Taking a break for the Holyhead Harpies, eh?”
“It was time to broaden my horizons a bit.”
“Your horizons of what? Hogwarts?” He questioned.
“Oh why of course,” Ginny replied rolling her eyes.
“Now, now, no need to be hasty Ginevra.” Draco smirked as her eyes darted to his.
Ginny frowned as he just looked at him and grabbed the bottle of Firewhiskey that was sitting on the bar. As she filled her glass, she could feel Draco’s eyes on her. She downed the glass and took a couple more shots.
“A little fast aren’t we?” Draco questioned as he took another sip of his butterbeer.
“No one likes the slow lane anymore,” Ginny responded as she started to get out a galleon.
“Leaving so soon?”
“I don’t believe my stomach can handle being so close to you,” she responded as she placed the galleon by the bottle.
“Well, I hope your stomach becomes immune to things quickly because I’ll be around for a whole year.”
Ginny spun so quickly on her heel to look at him things seemed blurred for a moment. “What?”
“I know that you’re not that dull Ginevra. I’m going to be your colleague, so you minus well stomach me now.”
“Stop calling me that!” She exclaimed, making a couple of heads turn.
“Okay, okay, no need to make a scene,” he answered with a slight smirk. He took a gulp of his butterbeer, emptying the mug, and looked back at her. “Why don’t we walk up together? Keep each other company?”
“I’d rather not… From what I remember Malfoy, we weren’t very friendly back in the day.”
“We can change that now,” he replied back as he opened the door, making the bell tingle.
She looked up at him and he held out his arm, signaling for her to walk through the open doorway. She rolled her eyes and walked out and started heading up the road that led them to Hogwarts.
A few seconds later Draco appeared again at her side, his hands in his pocket. They walked in silence for a couple of minutes until Draco broke it. “So, do you always drink so much?”
Her head turned towards him, her eyes narrowed slightly. “I don’t believe that’s your business.”
“No, probably not, but the curiosity is killing me.”
“Too bad it isn’t going any faster,” she retorted as he strides lengthened.
“You know, Weasley, I never understood why everyone was so reluctant around you. All I ever heard was how witty and back lashing you are. But what I see in front of me is someone completely different, someone who runs away from her problems.”
She stopped and looked at him, her bright brown eyes narrowed, and her jaw set. Her teeth grinded together trying to give her the power not to hex him when she opened her mouth, “That’s funny, especially coming from you.”
“Funny you say? Explain that one to me.”
“What I remember you always hid behind people whether it be your dearest daddy or those goons Crabbe and Goyle. You never faced your own fears or problems.”
“Like you said earlier, some things change.”
“I highly doubt that a Malfoy can change,” she answered as she started to walk again.
“On the contraire Weasley,” he responded as he followed her.
“And how in Merlins’ beard am I supposed to believe that?”
“You haven’t spotted it yet?”
“Obviously,” she rolled her eyes.
“We shall start with the obvious: I’m talking civilly to you, I’m not trying to gain anything by speaking to you, nor have I done anything in the half hour that we’ve spoken to make you think otherwise.”
When she couldn’t think of anything to go against what he said, she snorted. “Judgment still stands.”
“I can deal with that,” he answered. Silence fell between them once again.
“I started when I signed a contract with the Holyhead Harpies. Well you know how it goes when a match is won. Then it just grew on me I suppose. It gives me the time to myself I need, and it lets me…,” she trailed off as her voice seemed to catch in her throat again and the pain in her stomach coming back. She stopped walking for a moment, trying to get a grip over herself.
Draco had walked ahead without realizing that she stopped. He turned his head and saw that she was gone. Then he turned around and saw her down the pathway, and he started making his way to her. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?”
She turned her head to face him and the pain subsided slightly. “Yeah…fine. Sorry about that.”
“What happened?” He questioned as concern seemed to etch on his face.
“It’s nothing,” she answered firmly.
A short silence followed until Draco, once again, broke it, “What were you going to say before?”
She breathed in deeply, letting the air expand her lungs as she tried to muster up the courage. “I was going to say…,” she paused again, swallowing, “I was going to say that it lets me not forget him.”
“Forget who?” Draco questioned, curiosity seeming to eat at him.
“Harry,” she answered hesitantly as her eyes started to sting. She started walking again before he could say anything else.
Draco stood there with his hands in his pants pocket as he mulled what she said over. After a few seconds, and allowing her some time to get herself together, he started to follow her.
Another couple of minutes passed by in silence until they weren’t that far off from the entrance gates when Ginny broke the silence, “I’m sorry that I told you all this, I don’t usually talk about it.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he replied. They walked on a little bit when he said, “I may not have liked Potter, but from what happened, I can’t say that he wasn’t a good person.”
Ginny looked up at him with a small smile, “Some things do change.”
The rest of the way was a comfortable silence. When they reached the gates, they saw Professor McGonagall standing just inside them waiting.
“Good day Miss Weasley, Mr. Malfoy,” McGonagall greeted as she lifted the enchantments that protected Hogwarts.
“Hello,” they replied as they walked through.
“Give me a moment,” she said as she put the enchantments back. “Now, I would like to thank you for accepting these positions. I never thought that we would be losing three professors right before the start of school, so my gratitude is with you.”
“You’re welcome, Professor,” Draco said.
“Three professors?” Ginny questioned.
“Yes Miss Weasley,” McGonagall answered. “Professor Linworth just sent an owl this morning saying that he couldn’t return. His wife is very sick I’m afraid.”
“What subject did he teach?” Draco asked.
She walked up the couple steps into the Entrance Hall before she answered, “Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
“What other subjects are vacant, Professor?”
“Potions and Charms, and Flying. Madam Hooch retired at the end of term after getting hit with another bludger,” Professor McGonagall answered. She made her way to the gargoyle that guarded the Headmaster or Headmistresses’ office.
The spiral staircase revealed itself and they made their way up them, and then through the oak doors. McGonagall produced three chairs and took a seat behind her desk.
“Now, as for your teaching preferences…Mr. Malfoy, what subject is it that you would like?”
“Potions,” he answered.
“Very well,” she said as her green quill scratched against the parchment. “And you Miss Weasley?”
“Defense Against the Dark Arts,” Ginny answered automatically.
“That position has already been taken,” McGonagall replied as she looked at Ginny.
“Professor Lewin has already requested it.”
“Well then, I suppose Charms.”
“Very good. Now when it comes to flying, the duties will be shared. Flying is held at all different times, seeing as Madam Hooch refused to have a regular schedule. I hope you two don’t mind?”
“Not at all,” they answered quickly.
“Good. Would you two have any objections to being a Head of House?” They shook their heads and she continued, “Well, Professor Lewin has already consented to being Gryffindor’s, as Professor Longbottom already is Hufflepuffs. So that, of course, leaves Ravenclaw and Slytherin… I expect, Mr. Malfoy, that you would like your former house?” He nodded. “Miss Weasley, it’s not a problem for you to be Ravenclaw’s is it?”
“No Professor,” she replied wishing that she was able to have her former house.
“Very well,” McGonagall answered as she finished scrawling on the parchment. “Now, Mr. Malfoy, I assume you remember where Severus Snape’s old office was? That will now be yours. And Miss Weasley, your office is in the Ravenclaw Tower, the west end of the school. Do you need a guide to find it?”
“No Professor,” Ginny said remembering the days that she would go there with Luna.
There was a slight knock on the door. Ginny turned around as she heard the door open. There was a man around average height with light brown hair, grey blue eyes, and sharp angular features. She could see that his arms were nicely toned as the sun fell upon him. He looked at her and held her gaze for a moment before he looked at Professor McGonagall.
“Ah, Mr. Lewin, welcome. Please have a seat.”
“You may call me Bolton,” he responded as he took a seat in the chair she had conjured earlier.
Her lips thinned slightly, “I’ll make due to remember that. Now Bolton, here are your new colleagues. Miss Ginevra Weasley and Mr. Draco Malfoy.”
Bolton looked over at Ginny and Draco, holding out his hand, “Nice to meet you,” he said as he took Ginny’s hand.
“Nice to meet you too,” she said as a tinge of pink tinted her cheeks.
“Good to see you again, Draco.”
Draco nodded without a response, his jaw set. They looked back at Professor McGonagall, “I believe that’s all for now. If you have any questions at all, you may bring them up with me. The feast will start in three hours so I trust you, Miss Weasley and Mr. Malfoy, will use your time wisely.”
They nodded and walked out of McGonagall’s office. As the gargoyle went back into place to conceal the entrance, the three stopped before heading their different directions. Bolton made his way up the marble stair cases, leaving Ginny and Draco standing at the head of them.
“I didn’t know you knew him,” Ginny stated. “Did you know he was teaching here?”
“No, I didn’t,” Draco said shortly. “I’ll see you at the feast Weasley.”
Before Ginny could respond Draco had already stalked off to the dungeons. She headed up the staircase, taking the shortcuts that were necessary. After a while she finally made it up to Ravenclaw Tower and into her office. It was a medium sized room with a small, dainty staircase leading up to a closed off room.
Looking around, she noticed that the walls were completely bare and that there was a cabinet in the left corner. She passed by her wooden desk that had a scroll waiting for her, and walked up the stairs to the closed dark, wooden door. Clasping the handle, she pushed open the door slowly.
When the door was completely opened, she saw a simple looking room. There was a twin sized bed at the far left corner, a small side table, a wardrobe by the window, and a writing desk underneath the window. Her trunk and other small bags were in front of a tray with a pitcher of water on it.
She walked forward as she had her trunk and bags move onto her bed. Waving her wand, she had the trunk open and then had all of her robes and other clothing put into the wardrobe neatly. Then she waved her wand towards the bag where her personal belongings were held, and had them go into the draw that was part of the wardrobe. Placing her wand on the table, she started to go through the bag that held pictures.
One by one she took the frames out and looked at all the moving figures. She placed each one around her room in a certain place. Reaching into the bag, she took out a black frame that held a picture of her and Harry sitting in the living room of the Burrow. Ron and Hermione were in it too, but they were arguing in the background, Hermione’s hands thrown into the air. Harry had his arms around her waist as he would kiss her cheek.
Her breath caught in her throat once again. She set the frame down onto the side table by her bed and then sat down. Forgetting about figuring out whether the bed was comfortable or not, she closed her eyes and let out a shaky breath. Her heart seemed to have sunk into her stomach as it burned. “When is this going to stop….”
She brought her shaky hands up to her forehead as she doubled over. Taking a couple deep breaths she calmed down. Her heart seemed to rise back to where it was supposed to be and a small smile overcame her frown. She got up from her bed and walked out of her room, down the staircases and hideouts, and started heading for the kitchens. She was about to head down towards the kitchens when she heard someone say something behind her. When she turned around she came face to face with Bolton. Her face flushed again.
“Not going down to the kitchens when there’s only twenty minutes left before students start arriving, are you?”
“If you knew how these things went, then you would know that it would be about an hour before we get to eat. But then again, no one says that I’m going to eat.” He looked at her without responding. “And yet again Lewin, I didn’t know that I had to answer to you.”
“Yet this is where you stand,” he answered quietly.
She looked at him curiously. “And here I am leaving.” Turning on her heel, she started back on her way to the kitchens. She got to the portrait and was about to tickle the pear that was sitting in the fruit bowl when she stopped. Standing there for a few seconds she sighed and started heading back towards the Great Hall.
When she reached the Great Hall, Professor McGonagall, Draco, Bolton, Neville, and a couple of other professors were sitting at the high table. She made her way towards the table, passing the stool and the ragged looking sorting hat, and sat down next to Draco.
After a few more minutes, there were voices that started to come closer to the open doors of the Great Hall. Many students entered chattering with their friends as they took their seats at the house table that they belonged. It was about five minutes longer when the first years made their way into the hall, Hagrid leading them down the middle of the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff table. Ginny waved at him and Hagrid smiled back.
Professor McGonagall stood up with a scroll in her hand and walked to the stool. She grabbed the sorting hat with one hand and looked at the students, “When I call your name, you will step up, sit on the stool, and I will place the sorting hat upon your head.”
She started with the names, a couple Hufflepuff’s and Slytherin’s being sorted when Ginny leaned toward Draco, “They seem like dwarfs, don’t they?”
Draco nodded his head without responding and the ceremony continued. When it was finished, Professor McGonagall came back to the high chair and told everyone to start eating.
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