A/N: With all my lovely free time i have now that i have finished the HSC i managed to finish another chapter. yay! I dedicate this chapter to Dracolover whose rant/comment made me laugh and got me motivated to actually get off my butt and finish this chapter. Thankyou! Enjoy!
Chapter 9: Inchoate: Just beginning: just beginning to develop
“Hey, Brentley” I say as I sit at the table. He gives me a small smile as he looks up from whatever he was working on.
“If it was going to be a Slytherin, I’m glad it’s you” I tell him, taking out my books. Dean laughs and his smile grows.
“Thanks, Weasley. Professor Snape asked Draco to pick a suitable tutor for you out of the Slytherin sixth years. Obviously he was going to pick someone from the SO” he explains I nod and suddenly realise that if this year was just like all the previous years, then Brentley should be Draco’s second in charge. He should be the one who Draco is taking to all these meetings and sharing all the information with. Not me.
“Listen, Dean, I’m really sorry that Draco has been taking me along to all the meetings and talking to me about negotiations and not treating you Slytherins very well. I know you’re probably terribly annoyed at me for taking away your position” Dean shakes his head and smiles sadly.
“It’s not your fault, Ginny. We asked him to distance himself from us.”
“But, why?” I ask, my brows furrowing.
“Draco’s position within Slytherin isn’t very good at the moment. He’s been disowned and isn’t showing the right loyalties. While most of the house is still loyal to him, there are those, particularly in his own year, who are starting to see him as a threat, a threat that needs to be removed. If we are seen being too friendly with him, it could be dangerous for us” He explains.
“That’s awful!” I exclaim.
“It’s the Slytherin way of life” Dean says in resignation. We sit in silence for a minute, pondering his resigned answer. Dean pushes a textbook towards me and says “Let’s get to work” forcing me to focus on something else.
An hour later we emerge from the library to make our way to our final class of the afternoon.
“I’ll see you tonight and we’ll discuss when to meet up again then” Dean says to me. I nod and walk down towards the Defense against the Dark Arts classroom. As it is Monday, all the Hogwarts SO members are required to meet in the Room of requirement for an update on what is occurring. The meetings are usually brief, but afterwards a game of truth and dare is usually played by the younger students and occasionally the more senior members.
Afternoon classes pass in a breeze and it isn’t long before I am walking towards the hall, my stomach rumbling and eager for dinner.
“Hey, Ginny” Charlie says to me, falling into step.
“Charlie! How was your first day of classes?” I ask, eager to know how his temporary teaching career is going.
“It was good, I had fun. I only had a few younger classes so it wasn’t too hard.” He tells me.
“That’s great, I wish I still took the subject so you could teach me”
“Yeah, that would have been fun. But I have something more serious to discuss with you, Ginny. I know you didn’t fall off your broom the other day. You were jinxed by someone and I want to know who it is so I can beat their face to a pulp” Charlie says to me seriously, stopping in the middle of the hall. I sigh and look at my feet.
“It’s a long and complicated story, Charlie. I can’t explain it to you fully because there are some things I just can’t tell you.” I explain before walking off. I hear Charlie sigh in annoyance but he doesn’t follow me. I know he will ask again, I need a decent excuse.
I’m not alone for long as I make my way down the stairs.
“Hi, Morgan” I say distractedly as I see him approach me.
“Hey, Red. Listen, I was wondering if you will come with me to the ball?” he asks. I snap out of my musings and gape at him.
“Are you serious?”
“Entirely. I would be most honored if you would join me for the evening, Red.” He asks again, taking my hand and brushing it softly with his lips. I snort and he looks up at me, cocking an eyebrow.
“Do you get lessons on how to do this?” I ask him, thinking of the conversation I had had with Hermione not that long ago. Morgan laughs and drops my hand.
“Any gentleman knows how to ask a lady for the pleasure of her company in the correct way. Any guy who asks with any fewer manners is not worth a lady’s time” Morgan explains. It makes him sound like one of the etiquette books my great aunt always rambled on about and I snort again.
“Although sometimes I wonder if you’re a lady at all” he smirks. I scowl at him and turn to walk away but he grabs my wrist.
“You haven’t answered the question, Red”
“The pleasure will be all mine, sir” I say in a mocking tone, throwing in a curtsey for good measure. I laugh and continue on my journey towards dinner.
“Is that a yes?” Morgan yells down the corridor.
“Yes” I call back, trying to ignore the grin that has just broken out across my face.
I groan in delight when I finally sit at the table, the scents of the delicious foods wafting pass my nose.
“Someone seems happy to see food” Harry laughs. I stick my finger up at him and continue to shovel food into my mouth.
“How was tutoring?” Hermione asks me. I swallow my bite of potato and turn to face her.
“It was pretty good, my tutor is a sixth year Slytherin, but he’s not too bad. I learnt quite a lot just in one lesson.” I explain before turning back to my food.
“That’s wonderful, Ginny!” she exclaims. Ron stares at her and says disgustedly,
“How is it wonderful that she’s being tutored by a Slytherin?”
“It’s wonderful that she has a good tutor which will help her get better grades. If he happened to be a Slytherin, so be it. You have got to stop judging people by their house, or school for that matter, and stop judging people who associate with them.” Hermione cries angrily, storming off.
“What did I do?” Ron asks, displaying his half chewed food to the world. I give him a disgusted look and follow after Hermione.
“Hermione, wait” I call when I see the Head Girl quickly striding down a corridor.
“He’s going to be so mad at me, Ginny” she wails as soon as I reach her.
“We already discussed this, Hermione. You are not going to care what my dolt of a brother thinks and you can are going to have the time of your life dancing with a sexy foreign boy” Hermione laughs quietly as we step into her common room but I can see unshed tears glistening in her eyes.
“You really love him, don’t you?” I ask quietly.
“I really do, but he barely notices me except for when he needs help for something or is mad at me. Maybe I should tell James that I can’t go. I shouldn’t make Ron even madder than he already is” she sighs.
“Are you mad, Granger?” We look up to see Draco walking out of his room.
“Weasley is an idiot for not paying you the attention you deserve. Go to the ball with Maxworthy, look beautiful, dance with him and make the Weasel realise what he is missing, the prat.”
“Exactly what I’ve been telling you” I say triumphantly. Hermione sighs and gets up from the couch,
“Ok, ok, you win” she says, “Thanks, Ginny.” She hesitates and then turns towards Draco, “Thanks, Malfoy. I’m going to my room to do some homework” Hermione gives me a significant look and glances at Draco. I subtly shake my head and she sighs, shaking her head as she walks up the stairs to her room. Once Hermione leaves the room I turn towards Draco and find him closer than expected. On impulse I wrap my arms around him in a hug. I feel him stiffen and I am about to move away when I feel him awkwardly move his arms around me. The hug doesn’t last long before I pull away and take a step backwards. Draco just looks confused.
“Thank you” I tell him. He cocks an eyebrow and asks,
“For saying exactly what she needed to hear. For not being a right prat” I explain. He chuckles and I am quite shocked when he pulls me in for another hug. This one isn’t as stiff or awkward and I find myself enjoying it more than I am willing to admit to myself.
“Come on, we have a meeting to get to” I say, reluctantly pulling away. Draco nods and follows me out of the room. We don’t speak on the way to the seventh floor and I can tell he is in deep thought.
The meeting goes on without a hitch. Draco informs everybody of what is going on and reminds everybody to be on their guard constantly. As the younger years and a few of the older years as well, move to the centre of the room for their weekly truth or dare game, the older students move over to the couches near the fire. I wave and smile at Brentley as he makes his way over.
“Hi, Ginny” he says, sitting next to me on a couch.
“Hi, Dean. Thanks so much for tutoring me. I think I understand better already” I laugh. Dean smiles and waves his hand,
“No worries, I enjoy potions so I enjoy it. Do you want to meet at the same time next week?” he asks. I nod my consent and he gives me thumbs up and leaves to talk to the fifth year Slytherin, Gwen Greengrass, I think it is.
“Dean was a suitable potions tutor then?” Draco asks, sitting himself next to me.
“Yeah, he’s really good at potions and really good at making me understand it. Also, he doesn’t seem to get frustrated with me easily, which I’m sure is going to be my problem when I start tutoring a third year on Friday”
“That’s good, I would have offered to teach you myself, but Snape insisted it be someone doing the same course as you. I’m sure you’ll be a great tutor. If you have enough patience to deal with that annoying first year of yours then I’m sure you can deal with a slow third year” I laugh and I look over to Gabriella who is playing truth or dare with the other students. One of the boys becomes very red and the girls all giggle. I see Gabriella stand up and fearlessly sing the school song to the tune of the new Weird Sisters song and another boy run around like a dragon.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if all the houses got along this well all the time? When the other schools leave, we’ll be back to hexing each other as we pass in the halls, which only encourages the rest of the school.” I sigh. Draco looks at me strangely and nudges me with his shoulder,
“Don’t go Dumbledore on me” he smirks, referring to our Headmasters dream of House Unity.
“Truth or dare” I suddenly ask Draco. He looks taken aback and takes a moment to answer.
“Truth” he says. I scoff, I always picked dare. Where was the fun in truth? It takes me a minute to thinks of a question to ask. Shame, I had such a good dare he could have done.
“Are you scared? Of what your father might do?” I ask. Draco sighs heavily and cards a hand though his hair.
“I’m scared of what he might do to the people I care about. I’m deathly afraid something will happen to them that I won’t be able to prevent” he says eventually. “Am I scared of him trying to kill me? No.” The intensity of his gaze makes me squirm and I look away, my cheeks burning.
“Truth or dare, Ginevra”
“I dare you to go with me to the ball” I gasp and look down at my hands, folded in my lap. I’m breathing heavily and I can’t bring myself to look at him, even though I can feel his gaze on me.
“I, I can’t, Draco. I’m sorry” I choke out before wrenching myself off the couch and out the door. I hear footfalls behind me but don’t turn to see who it might be. I walk towards Gryffindor tower and wrap my arms around my shaking body. Why did that affect me so much?
“Ginny, slow down” a voice calls. I turn around to see that the person following me had been Leanne. The younger girl takes one look at me before taking my hand and dragging me in the opposite direction. We arrive at the Prefects bathroom and she shoves me inside.
“Go and get undressed, I’ll make the bath” she instructs me. I nod and do what she says, walking back over to the pool sized bath with a towel wrapped around my small frame. I breathe in the luxurious smells of the bubbles deeply and feel better instantly. Leanne turns around while I drop my towel and climb into the bath. She sits on the edge of the bath and looks at me seriously, the bubbles not allowing her to see past my neck where I am submerged up to.
“Draco asked me to the ball” I explain. Leanne rolls her eyes.
“Well that explains it, you have every right to be completely freaked out that the most attractive guy in our school, who obviously likes you a lot, asked you to the ball” she says sarcastically. I smile a small smile and realise that this is exactly what I needed, a bubble bath and Leanne’s sarcastic bluntness.
“Morgan Galloway also asked me to the ball this afternoon. I said yes” I say in a rush.
“So what’s the problem?” Leanne asks, “Either way, you’re going to the ball with a gorgeous boy who likes you”
“I didn’t realise it would hurt so much to say no to Draco” I sigh. Leanne smirks at me and raises an eyebrow.
“And what does that tell you?” she prompts.
“It tells me,” I start, but I don’t finish the sentence. What does that tell me?
It tells you that you obviously fancy the pants of the boy!
I gasp, taking in a large amount of bubbles. I start choking as the bubbles go down the wrong pipe and Leanne thumps me on the back.
“I fancy Draco” I wheeze, my eyes wide.
Finally! My cricket says, if it had eyes, they would be rolling.
“There we go! That wasn’t too hard was it now?” Leanne laughs.
“But I’m going to the ball with Morgan!”
“And how do you feel about that?” Leanne asks, pushing imaginary glasses up her nose and pretending to write in a notebook. We glance at each other and burst out laughing. I truly am glad that we became friends this year. The ease with which we seem to be able to talk and laugh is so different to the forced smiles I have to put on around most other girls. Growing up with all brothers makes communicating with girls a bit difficult for me.
“I was happy. Really happy actually” I finally answer. I think about all my interactions with Morgan and I groan, burying my head in my hands. I mumble something and Leanne says “What? Speak up, girl!”
Slowly I raise my eyes to meet hers and mumble, “I think I may fancy Morgan, as well” quietly. Leanne just laughs at me and I groan, although a grin has now spread across my face.
“Shut up! It’s not funny!” I laugh, splashing water and bubbles onto the younger girl. Leanne shrieks and smirks at me.
“Fine then, I’ll leave you to wallow in your realizations by yourself then” Leanne pokes her tongue out at me, thrusts her chin into the air and stalks out of the bathroom.
I stay in the swimming pool sized bath, musing over my predicament until I look like a prune. I dress and sneak through the corridors to Gryffindor Tower. I want to collapse into my bed and continue to process my thoughts but I am stopped by a figure on the couch glowering sourly at me.
“Ginevra Molly Weasley, when exactly were you going to tell me that you are going to the ball with Galloway?” Hermione whispered angrily.
“Tomorrow?” I say, hoping it will be a suitable answer. Hermione appraises me before pulling me down onto the couch.
“Well? What did he say? What did Malfoy say?” she asks eagerly. I laugh and tell her how Morgan asked me to the ball, complete with hand kissing.
“They must get lessons” I laugh. Hermione giggles and questions again on Draco’s reaction.
“I don’t know” I whisper. “He asked me to the ball tonight, I said I couldn’t before running off” I sigh.
“Oh, Gin” Hermione says, taking my hand.
“I’ve come to the realization, with a little help from Leanne, that I like both of them, and I just don’t know what to do” I say sadly. Hermione grins and says,
“I always knew I liked Leanne. But, Ginny, there is only one thing you can do for now. Go to the ball with Galloway and just see where it goes from there. If Draco reacts badly then tell him to stuff it and that he’s just jealous” I laugh and Hermione joins in.
“You’re right, Hermione. Thank you.” I glance at the clock above the fireplace and realise how late it is.
“I’d better get to bed. Goodnight, Hermione” I say before dragging myself up the stairs and into bed, falling into a fitful sleep with dreams of baths, boys and ballgowns.
A/N: i apologise for Ginny being just a tad OOC in this chapter. my excuse is that every girl is allowed to go a bit nuts because of boys every now and again. leave me a review to tell me what you think. I love to read them! They motivate me to write more. BUT fear not! i hopefully will be writing a lot more in the months to come since i no longer have any work to do.
Keep smiling, Bella xx