Ineluctable: against which it is useless to struggle
We must have fallen asleep at some point because when I awake the first thing I see is Morgan staring at the two sets of linked hands in confusion.
“Hello” I greet and Morgan directs his attention to me.
“Good morning” he returns, “did we win?” he says next. I roll my eyes and nod.
“Yes, you won. Maxworthy caught the snitch just as you were falling. Speaking of which, what the bloody hell were you thinking, you idiot! You terrified me, falling like that!” I hiss under my breath, trying not to wake Draco.
“Aww, you were worried! How sweet!” Morgan replies with a smirk.
“You’re impossible” I hiss, narrowing my eyes. Morgan just laughs and then looks at my hand which is entwined with Draco’s.
“So, what’s going on there? You guys shagging?”
“No!” I cry out, instantly letting go of both boys’ hands. At the sudden tugging at his right hand, Draco starts to stir and blearily opens his eyes, blinking at the two of us.
“What’s going on?” he asks sluggishly.
“Nothing” I snap, “now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to Hogsmede with the girls” I say before stomping out of the Hospital Wing, Draco and Morgan watching my retreating back with confused and amused expressions.
As soon as I get down the hall my shoulders slump and my stride shortens and slows. I am going to Hogsmede with the girls, like I’d promised Hermione, but I wouldn’t be enjoying today, not at all.
It’s still early in the morning but there are lots of students eating in the Great Hall, eager for their day in the nearby village to begin. I sit down at the Gryffindor table and pull the plate of toast towards me, half listening to a group of second years lament about how they couldn’t wait to visit Hogsmede the following year.
“Good morning, Ginny” two voices chime as Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil seat themselves on the bench opposite me.
“Morning, Lavender, Parvati” I say politely. Just because I don’t like the girls doesn’t mean I was going to be mean or rude to them. They hadn’t done anything to me in particular, I just found them annoying to be around.
“Are you excited to go shopping today?” Lavender asks me excitedly.
“Super duper excited” I reply sarcastically although I don’t think the two older girls understand the sarcasm because they laugh and clap their hands in delight.
“We were so excited when Hermione told us you were going to come! It can be a real girl’s day!” Lavender says excitedly, Parvati just nods in agreement.
Merlin, help me. I am not going to survive today.
“Morning” Hermione says as she joins us at the table. The giggly-gurks greet her happily and I just glare. Remind me again why I agreed to this?
By the time we are halfway to Hogsmede I am seriously contemplating feigning sickness and not going to the village at all. Until I remember that I have to meet Brentley at the Three Broomsticks at three and I have to get new dress robes for the ball. I guess I’ll just have to grin and bare it.
“I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get away from them quickly. I said I’d meet Harry and Ron at the Three Broomsticks at two, so if you come it’ll only be a few hours.” Hermione says to me quietly as we wander into the outskirts of the town.
“Let’s hope so, I don’t think I can take much more of this. I have to meet someone at the Three Broomsticks around then anyway.” I say, smiling slightly at Hermione for the first time that morning, letting her know that she was forgiven, for now.
When I take a set of dress robes off the rack and am immediately squealed at I decide that Hermione is no longer forgiven.
“Oh, you can’t wear dress robes, Ginny! That is so last year, all of the trendy witches are wearing ball gowns these days!” Lavender squeals.
“Yes, Ginny, come and look over here at this rack. I’m sure we can find you something pretty that won’t clash with your hair!” Parvati says joyously, dragging me over to a very scary and frilly looking clothes rack.
After a while I give in trying to argue and just let Lavender, Parvati and even sometimes, Hermione, shove me into various dresses and shoes. I don’t even bother looking in the mirror after a while. It’s not that I think I look hideous in any of the dresses, in fact some of them have been quite nice, I think that Hermione must be keeping a bit of control over what they make me try on because none of them have been overly short or overly frilly yet, which is good. I just don’t look in the mirror because they all start looking the same. When I complain to Lavender about this she smiles at me and shakes her head.
“Of course they do, Ginny!” she says, “They all blend together and look the same so that when you find the perfect dress it will obviously stand out and look so much better than all those before it. That’s why we try on so many dresses! Shopping does have some strategy to it you know, that’s why we consider it a sport!” I just nod and try on the next dress that she shoves in my hand.
Eventually we find the perfect dress for me. Parvati and Lavender gasp and clap their hands as I come out of the changing room and Hermione just smiles and nods. I sigh a breath of relief and turn to face myself in the mirror. I smile in appreciation and feel pleased with the way I look in the dress. It is long, halter neck and a stunning deep, royal purple, simplicity at its best.
As much as she protests, it is Hermione’s turn to be tortured next and I find it strangely entertaining to watch her try on dress after dress and adopt comical poses as though she is in a glossy fashion magazine. Maybe Parvati and Lavender haven’t got their priorities completely warped after all. As Lavender passes another dress over the door to Hermione two more people enter the store.
“We thought we’d find you lovely ladies in here” Morgan says as he comes to stand with me.
“Shouldn’t you still be resting? You didn’t run away from the hospital wing did you?” I say worriedly.
“No, no, nothing if the sort, we got him released” Maxworthy chuckles from my other side.
“How?” I ask suspiciously. Madam Pomfrey is notorious for keeping students in bed long after they are well enough to leave.
“I just told her that I had to buy an outfit for the dance and wouldn’t it be such a shame if I embarrassed my beautiful date by not turning up in the appropriate attire” Morgan says, winking at me.
“Only you could charm the school nurse” I laugh. “So what are you doing in here if you need to buy an outfit for yourself? This is a dress shop so unless you intend on wearing a dress, you might want to look elsewhere.”
“We came to see what colour our dates will be wearing so that we can match our ties to your dresses. Speaking of dates, where is the beautiful Miss Granger?” Maxworthy asks.
I look around and see Hermione emerging from the changing room. The boys see her as well and I notice Maxworthy’s jaw drop and Hermione blush. I smile smugly as I push the boys towards the door.
“You will most definitely be wearing blue” I say to Maxworthy.
“And me?” Morgan calls as I push him out of the door.
“Purple, royal purple” I say before returning to the girls.
“Did you see the way his jaw dropped?” Parvati is squealing excitedly at Hermione. The Head Girl just looks confused.
“That’s the dress, Hermione.” I tell her quietly and she smiles shyly at me before returning to the changing room to change back into her normal clothes. Parvati and Lavender are both holding dresses which they somehow managed to find while shoving Hermione and myself into various outfits and we all take our dresses to the counter to be paid for.
“There goes that new book I wanted” Hermione sighs as she glances at the price tag of the dress.
“it will be worth it, Hermione, you look stunning in it” I tell her, although I also feel the sting of the number of galleons that I am about to spend.
“You are some very lucky girls” the sales attendant tells us when we place our dresses on the counter.
“Why’s that?” Parvati asks her.
“Oh! They didn’t tell you?” she asks us, smiling widely, “those young men who were in here not long ago came back in and told me to put all your expenses on their tab” she explains.
“They what?” I exclaim loudly. Those sneaky bastards!
“Even ours?” Lavender says in shock.
“All four of you” the attendant confirms as she brings up the price of all our dresses.
“Wow” Parvati and Lavender whisper at the same time.
“You two are so lucky to have such great dates!” Lavender squeals. I just roll my eyes and take the bag that is handed to me.
Outside the shop we say farewell to Lavender and Parvati agreeing that we should all get ready for the ball in Hermione’s room together, after all, today hadn’t been as bad as I had anticipated.
Are you alright, Hermione?” I ask as we make our way to the Three Broomsticks.
“I’ve never had a boy buy me anything before, let alone something that expensive!” She says, still shocked. I laugh at my older friend and drag her into the Three Broomsticks, smiling bemusedly.
“Hey, guys!” I say, sliding into the booth next to Harry, leaving Hermione to sit next to Ron.
“Hello, you two. What’s in the bags?” Harry asks us.
“Our dresses for the ball and no, you may not see them until the night of the ball” I tell him, snatching the bag out of his reach as he goes to peak at my dress. I look across the table to see Ron steadily glaring at Hermione’s bag presumably because it wasn’t him that the dress was bought for.
“I’ll get us some butterbeers shall I?” Harry asks, trying to break the awkward silence that has built around us.
“Oh no, don’t worry about me. I was just dropping off Hermione, I have to meet someone else” I say as I spot Dean entering the tavern.
“Hi, how did it go?” I say when I reach the booth that Dean has secured.
“You didn’t really miss all that much. The most important thing was that they were meeting with Nott and you were there for that. After you all left we found out that the twins have been the ones following you and Galloway and we threatened them so they won’t be doing that any more. That’s about it really.” He tells me.
“Thank you for doing this, Dean” I tell him.
“What are friends for?” he says to me.
We chat for a while longer and we are in the middle of a particularly funny story about one of Dean’s roommates when Leanne storms up to our table and sits beside me.
“Remember how I said that Ravenclaw guy asked me to the ball? Well he just dumped me! Apparently he has a girlfriend now and it would be inappropriate if he didn’t attend with her! What a prick!” she rants. Dean and I stay silent and just let her vent about her ex-date.
“What am I going to do now? I’ve turned other people down already because I said I had a date and now I will look like a bitch if I turn up without one!” She wails. I open my mouth to comfort her but Dean beats me to the punch.
“Go with me” he says.
“What?” Leanne and I say at the same time.
“Go with me, I’ll be your date” he says, a little shyly.
“Oh, alright” Leanne replies, also shyly. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Leanne look shy. They exchange small smiles and I decide that it is time for me to leave.
“I’m going to go and find Draco, he should know about the twins” I say to them, “Have fun, kids!” I smirk before leaving the two of them, quite pleased with the match.
When I step outside, however, I realise that I have no idea where Draco would be. Is he at Hogsmede or did he stay at school? What shops would he visit at Hogsmede if he is here?
“You look deep in thought there, Red.”
“You, git! You paid for all of our dresses!” I say, hitting Morgan with my dress bag, although a smile tugs at my lips.
“The duties of being a date” Maxworthy smirks.
“Lavender and Parvati aren’t even your dates!”
“The duties of being a gentleman” Morgan smirks, putting his arm around me, “Now, what were you thinking about so hard before we interrupted?”
“I was trying to think where I might find Draco” I explain.
“Ah, of course, darling Draco” Morgan smirks, waggling his eyebrows at me.
“What are you implying, Galloway?” I ask my expression dark.
“let’s just say, that even though I am your date for this much anticipated ball, I will gallantly step aside and let your lover-boy twirl you around the dance floor a few times.” I just glare at him and wiggle out from his grasp.
“Hey, Weasley, does Hermione still want to go to the ball with me? I get the impression that your brother and Potter aren’t too pleased with her going with me” Maxworthy asks, a little unsure of himself.
“No fear, Maxworthy, Hermione is looking forward to your date. My brother and Harry can be jerks at times, mostly my brother though. Just ignore them. I’m sure you two will have a smashing night. Unlike me, if I have to spend the night with this idiot’ I say, jerking my thumb towards Morgan who pretends to be offended.
“You should be honored to be going with me, Red” he scoffs and I roll me eyes.
“Yeah, yeah” I answer before walking off. I decide that Draco is most likely still in the castle as I haven’t seen him around in Hogsmede so I make my way to the edge of the village.
“Wait up, Red” Morgan calls out to me.
“What now?” I sigh as I turn to face him.
“I’ll walk with you, James has gone to stalk the Head Girl” he tells me, falling into step beside me.
“Alright, I suppose you should hear what I’m going to tell Draco anyway”
We walk silently for a while and I am surprised at how comfortable the silence is. Apparently Morgan doesn’t think so because after a while I see him start to fidget.
“Just spit it out, Morgan” I sigh, he looks at me in confusion. “Whatever it is that you desperately want to say to me, just spit it out” I clarify.
“Oh, that” he answers. Morgan suddenly stops in his tracks and I turn to face him.
“Why did you agree to go to the ball with me when you so clearly fancy Malfoy?” he asks me, his brows furrowing.
“I don’t fancy Draco, don’t be ridiculous” I say calmly.
“Red, stop denying it, I know you fancy the guy and I know that he fancies you as well. So what’s the problem with you two?”
“How can you possibly know if he fancies me or not? You would be the very last person he would tell.” I snap.
“I just know, okay?”
“No, Morgan. It is not okay. How did you know to warn my brother and how did you obtain veritaserum, what else do you secretly know? What’s going on, Morgan?” I ask, sick of his secrecy.
“I can’t tell you, Ginny!” he begs me to understand.
“Why not? Why can’t you tell me? Do you realise how suspicious it looks? I’ve put my trust in you, Morgan, but if you can’t trust me then I don’t know what the point is!”
“Ginny, please, it’s a delicate situation and could place my family in danger”
“Place your family in danger? Do you not remember that it was my family who was in danger and for some reason you just happened to know about it? Was it your family my brother was in danger from?” I say sarcastically, but Morgan falls silent.
“Oh my god” I whisper, taking a step backwards, away from Morgan. “Your family was the danger wasn’t it? You’re all death eaters aren’t you? You told me in order to gain my trust but really you’re working with Him!” I screech, backing away with every word, my heart sinking.
“No! Ginny, please just give me a chance to explain!” he begs, moving towards me.
“Tell me it’s not true, tell me it was a coincidence, and tell me this isn’t true!” I cry, tears starting to stream down my face. Morgan shifts from foot to foot, trying to find the right words.
“Come up to the castle and let me explain. I will swear on veritaserum that I am not a death eater. Please, Ginny, give me a chance” he says after he spots a group of Ravenclaw’s heading up the road. I look at the ground, not knowing what to say.
You should give him a chance.
I sigh and know that the cricket is right, like usual. Morgan deserves a chance to explain himself. I nod and I hear him breathe a sigh of relief. Together we finish the walk back to the castle in silence, tears still rolling down my cheeks. We meet no one on the road until we reach the entrance hall.
“Ah, Ginevra, I’ve been looking for you” No, I can’t deal with this right now! I don’t reply to Draco and I don’t look up, keeping my eyes on my shoes.
“Malfoy, now is really not a good time” Morgan says, trying to step around the Slytherin.
“Actually, Galloway, I think this is a perfect time. What’s going on? Look at me, Ginny and tell me what he did to you, I can see that you are crying” Draco says, softening his tone at the end as he tilts my chin up, pleading with me to look at him.
“You’re going to pay for making her cry, you bastard” Draco growls at Morgan.
“No” I say, grabbing Draco’s wrist. “Morgan, he needs to hear this as well” I say quietly. Morgan hangs his head and mumbles something I don’t hear before beckoning us forwards. Draco moves my hand off his wrist and holds it in his own, not letting go until we reach the Gryffindor meeting tower.
The chairs we had the twins toed to not that long ago are still sitting in the middle of the room. Draco and I sit in them as Morgan begins to pace in front of us. I look up at him expectantly, a frown on my face. I can feel Draco’s eyes on me, watching for any sign that I am about to break down. Morgan stops pacing abruptly and turns to face us.
“I’m not a death eater” he begins, “but I should be”
A/N: so we finally start to unravel the mystery that is Morgan Galloway! how exciting! haha
work, hard, play hard.