Chapter 6 : Chapter 5: Constant Vigilance
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He glanced up at her from underneath his messy fringe; when he reached her belly, his hands trailed down her hips and gripped her bum, pulling her closer to him. He was very coordinated, to be doing so many little things that made her feel like she was going to explode all at once and remain so ardently dedicated in his goal of what seemed to be mapping every inch of her with his lips. His eyes, dark with lust, never left hers as he dipped his tongue into her belly button.
Sweet Merlin, he was trying to kill her. She might have said something, but she was certain that it really came out as a moan when he smirked at her, before pulling at her knickers and sliding his lips lower.
Then he shoved her. That was uncalled for! How did he manage to shove her from the side when he was clearly, deliciously on top of her? Then he started to shake her.
“Ginny, Gin? Ginny! Would you –“
She wished he would shut up. He sounded like Ron, yelling at her like that.
Ginny’s eyes shot open. There, not two inches away, were bright blue eyes staring back at her. Thoroughly disoriented, and more than a little shaken, Ginny shrieked and reached for the closest weapon at hand.
Ron’s shout of indignation was effectively muffled by the pillow she swung into his face. She kicked out at him, and by the time Ginny realized it was Ron she was fighting, it was too late. Her aim was impeccable, and the damage had already been done. As Ron slumped to the floor, she saw Harry and Draco abruptly stop their fighting to get through her bedroom door.
As she leapt from the bed to tend to Ron, Ginny, for perhaps the first time in her life, was painfully aware of how ill-fitting her sleep clothes were. The top was a good bit too short and fit snugly around her breasts, and the pants might have been Charlie’s at some point because they were baggy and hung loosely from her hips. Her neck and chest were still flushed and sweaty from her dream, and she prayed to any deity that might be listening that Harry and Draco would think it from embarrassment and the exertion of fighting off Ron.
“Oh, Ron! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, honest,” she proclaimed, kneeling next to him on the floor.
“Don’t touch me,” he grunted hatefully.
“Ron, come on.” She reached for him anyway, and he drew away from her.
“Seriously, Gin, give me a minute. Yeah?”
“Oh, sure, I’ll – Um, I’ll just get cleaned up and, uh, give you a minute then.” She gave him a little, embarrassed shrug and bolted from the room, pushing between Harry and Draco in her rush to the veritable safety of the loo.
It was not until she’d braced herself over the edge of the sink and looked in the mirror that she realized she was uncertain about whom, exactly, she’d been dreaming. This, understandably, did not make her feel any better. Ginny turned on the tap and splashed her face with cold water, hoping it would help her blush disappear.
Once she was gone from the room, Ron stretched out on the floor and rolled to his back. Covering his face with his hands, he groaned, “Buggering fuck.”
“Bad luck, Weasel,” Draco drawled from the doorway. “Next time, try not to scare her to death, and maybe she won’t feel the need to help improve the general population’s intelligence by keeping you from procreating. …Not that I don’t applaud her efforts.”
Inside, his organs were slowly beginning to unwind themselves from the knot they’d snarled into when he’d first heard her screaming from his new room, down two doors and across the hall. Of course, this realization did nothing other than cause him concern that his previous statement could be interpreted as him caring for Ginny, so he quickly amended it. “Besides, Potter here desperately needs beauty sleep, and he can’t very well get that while she’s screaming, now can he?”
“Bugger off, Malfoy.”
Draco arched an eyebrow at Potter. “Are you going to make me?”
“No, but I might,” came an amused, distinctly female voice from behind him. “Leave Ron alone, Draco. It’s not a big deal.”
Draco’s nerves felt they might jump out of his skin as her hand skimmed across his shoulder. “Here to save the weak and protect the innocent?” he inquired.
“If so, I think someone gave me the wrong directions. Go finish your primping,” Ginny teased, flicking his ear as she passed by. Even she was amazed at the sort-of camaraderie they’d forged in the wake of the trio-that-could-neither-be-parted-nor-infiltrated. When he continued to simply stare at her, Ginny frowned. “I said shoo. So shoo.”
"Why does he mind you?" Harry asked as Draco stomped down the hall.
"Don't be a prat, Harry. He doesn't mind me. He listens to me because I treat him like a human being and not a nasty creature."
Harry shrugged. "Well, until proven otherwise," he said with a grin – just in case she couldn't tell from his tone of voice that he was kidding – kind of.
"Harry! Really." She giggled before she could help herself. "I don't even know if I can scold you for that. …I think Ron wanted to talk to me though, so, um –"
"Yeah." He ran a hand through his perpetually chaotic hair. "Why don't we catch up later? Maybe we can find time for a game of Exploding Snap or Wizard's Chess?"
"If we're going to play Wizard's Chess, you should go and practice," she teased.
"Oh we'll see who needs practice."
Little shivers ran down Ginny's spine as she entered her room. Things between she and Harry had changed, and she didn't think they could ever go back to the way they were. The shivers, unfortunately, seemed to be only the remains of a habit formed long ago. But they were still there, and that bothered her conscience – especially since she was almost positive that it was no longer Harry starring in her dreams.
By the time she turned her attention back to Ron, he had made himself at home on her bed and was giving her a concerned look. "Sorry I scared you, Gin," he said as she climbed onto the bed beside him.
"S'all right. Sorry I, um, just, sorry."
"It's okay. What's the deal with you and Harry? You guys seemed okay just now."
Ginny sighed. "I don't know, Ron. Yes, just now things were okay, but at the same time, they aren't really, and I guess – I don't know. We're just kind of in a state of limbo."
She took a moment to study her brother, for the first time in a long time. He had grown into his lanky frame, and his eyes, while they still twinkled like they had when they were little, looked older somehow. A little wiser, a little more knowing – and almost sad to be that way.
"But you didn't wake me up to talk about me and Harry."
Ron twiddled his thumbs for a moment before heaving a sigh. "You aren't going to make this easy for me, are you?"
She grinned at him. "Now, why would I do a thing like that?"
"I think you might be spending too much time with Malfoy."
"Draco," she corrected absently.
"See?" he teased her. "Do you think you could help me though?"
A sly smile crept across Ginny's face. "With what?"
"Come on. Don't make me say it." He bumped his shoulder against hers and managed to wait for a moment before blurting it out. "Hermione's birthday is at the end of the week."
"Ah. I see."
"So?" he asked hopefully.
"So what?" she teased him.
"So, what do I get her? I mean, I want to get her a, you know, a girl gift. But something that she'll still be able to use."
"Well don't get her any more of that perfume you got her for Christmas when you were in fifth year. That smelled bloody awful." Ron flushed, and Ginny suddenly felt bad for being so very blunt. He was trying, after all. "Well, what ideas do you have?"
"Uh, well, I thought about getting her perfume, but obviously that's no good. I thought about getting her a book – I saw that she had a list of ones that she wants. But Harry's getting her a book from that list, and I don't want it to be like, 'Hey, here's a book, and I know you like books 'cause we're mates.' You know? Then I thought she might like something for her hair –" He cut himself off upon seeing Ginny's reaction to that suggestion. "Would that not be good?"
"I, um, well you getting her hair products could be a bit, erm, misunderstood. She's very sensitive about her hair, actually. But you had some good ideas," Ginny said, trying to cheer her brother up. "Let's go back to the book idea. What about a book that's not on her list? Surely we can come up with something that doesn't say 'Hey, let's be mates' without it being totally non-academic, right? You know her well enough to have an idea of what she's interested in. I think she would be touched that you took the time to pick something you thought she'd find interesting."
Ron looked doubtful, but dutifully chimed his agreement. By the time he left, Ginny was smiling in satisfaction. They'd not only planned a present, but also an entire surprise party for Hermione. Her brother could be brilliant when he applied himself. Hermione was a lucky witch.
"Ginny, really, I don't want to do anything special for my birthday."
"Bull," Ginny said, not pausing her efforts to drag Hermione down the hall with her. "It'll be fun."
"Contrary to popular belief, I've never really been a Trelawney fan," Hermione deadpanned.
"Hermione, we never do anything for your birthday. Would you just relax and try to have a good time? You cannot make me believe that you would be happy to spend your birthday in the library, just like you do every other day of the year."
"I like the library, thanks."
"Granger, would you just go with her so she'll stop harping on? Some of us are trying to enjoy life," Draco snarled from his doorway.
Ginny looked pointedly at him. "Yes. And if you want to continue to enjoy yours, you will be nice to the birthday girl."
Draco rolled his eyes at Ginny's most likely idle threat. "Surely you know by now that I'm not nice."
"I know. You have the temperament of a Hungarian Horntail." She crinkled her nose at him. "A grouchy one."
"Dragons don't play nicely. Surely you know that. Your brother is a dragon tamer."
"Then it would be wise of you not to make me floo him."
Hermione smiled as Draco arched an appraising eyebrow at Ginny.
Finally satisfied, he nodded. "Touché."
Ginny smiled at him. "Thank you. Now then, I know you have things to be doing, so shouldn't you, you know, go?"
"Yeah, yeah. I'm going." He muttered unintelligibly as he stalked down the hall.
"What are you making him do?” Hermione asked as she allowed herself – for the moment – to be pulled up the stairs.
"Something not for him," Ginny quipped. While she personally thought Draco's attitude had improved in leaps and bounds, he was still a selfish little snot sometimes.
"Oh, while we're alone up here – and I'm certain there aren't any Extendable Ears –" Hermione paused on the landing of the third floor and wrung her hands together. "Thank you for helping Ron with my gift. It's perfect. Poetry and history all in one."
Ginny smiled. "Hermione, Ron picked that book out himself. I mean, I pointed him in the right direction – I won't deny that – but he was the one who came up with the idea, and like I said, picked that book out. He spent an entire hour in Flourish and Blotts."
Hermione's eyes lit up. Ron positively hated Flourish and Blotts. "Really?" She bounced on the balls of her feet a little bit; only just barely suppressing what Ginny thought might have been a very un-Hermione like squeal. "Yes. Yes, yes, yes! Take that, Lavender Brown."
Ginny barely kept her own squeal in check at seeing her friend so happy. And to think, it only took telling her that Ron had picked out a book for her. Ginny always knew life was about the little things.
"Are you ready?" she asked Hermione once the other girl's happy dance subsided. She didn't give her time to answer – or stall – instead reaching out and rapping sharply on Professor Trelawney's door.
[[A/N]]: Thank you for reading! If you would be so kind as to review and let me know what you think, I would really appreciate it!
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