After Bill left Teresa brought Ginny back to her room so she could unpack and get settled. It didn’t take long since Penny, Ginny’s new house elf, was there to help her. After unpacking Ginny made her way to Teresa’s room which was even more amazing than Ginny’s.
A large four poster bed was in the middle of the room with odd looking curtains hanging from it. The rooms’ furniture was quirky and oddly shaped, the walls were covered with eccentric art pieces and the floor was bright orange carpet.
It looked like something you’d see in the Quibbler which meant it was perfect for Teresa. They didn’t spend much time in Teresa’s bizarre room because Teresa’s parents called them down to start setting up for the party.
Ginny had assumed it all would be done by magic but Mrs. Kildee didn’t agree with using magic for everything. She thought it made people “lazy and incompetent”. So Teresa and Ginny helped house elves manually move tables and chairs around the ballroom until Mrs. Kildee was happy with how it looked.
Fortunately there wasn’t enough time to do everything without magic. Once it turned 3 o’clock Mrs. Kildee left the work to the house elves so she could go get ready. Ginny and Teresa didn’t need three hours to get dressed so they stayed a little longer to help.
After setting everything up Ginny retrieved her dress from her room then went to Teresa’s. They had decided it would be better for them to get ready together. When Ginny entered Teresas room she found it filled with hundred of dresses.
“I can’t decide what to wear” Teresa was standing in front of a mirror, her hands full of dresses “This dress makes me look pale, this one I’ve worn twice, this one I just don’t like and the rest are just…ugh I don’t know. I think I’m going crazy” Teresa turned to Ginny after finding faults in all her dresses. Ginny wasn’t sure what to say. She usually didn’t have any dresses to pick from let alone hundreds.
“Whatever you wear you’re going to look gorgeous in,” Ginny tried to reassure her friend. Teresa just scowled. “Okay, what look are you trying to go for?”
“I don’t know!” Teresa collapsed onto her bed in frustration.
“All right then...Well you looked elegant and regal at the ball so let’s go for something different.” Ginny started going through the dresses, discarding all that were too elegant and proper.
“I’m guessing you want to look good for Blaise but you shouldn’t look like your trying to hard either.” Ginny now discarded even more dresses. “You should wear something that’s fun but not crazy” Ginny now discarded a frilly color changing dress.
The hundreds of dresses that had filled the room were now gone. There were only a couple of dresses left. Ginny picked them up and made Teresa stand in front of the mirror. She held the first dress up to her. Teresa made a face, Ginny discarded it. She held the next one up. Teresa complained that she had already worn it twice, so it was discarded. They repeated the routine until there were only two dresses left.
Ginny held up a short strapless dress made of print fabric with waves of colors. They were made of different blues, purples and white. It had a sweetheart neckline with a fitted bustline and a beaded bodice. The skirt flaired out with a colorful petticoat peaking out of the bottom.
Teresa didn’t say anything. “So I’m guessing this is the one?” Ginny asked with a smile. Teresa nodded fervently.
“This is gorgeous! I didn’t even know I had this.” Teresa exclaimed joyously. Ginny laughed at her friend but was silently jealous. She had never had as many clothes as Teresa had. After looking through all of Teresa’s dresses she felt embarrassed to be repeating a dress.
“So what are you wearing?” Tersa asked, turning away from the mirror.
“Oh um I’m wearing the short version of my ball gown.” Ginny tried to sound happy about it but it was hard to while she was surrounded by other gorgeous dresses.
“You could borrow one of mine!” Teresa caught Ginny eyeing the other dresses. She looked almost ashamed to have so many.
“No I think I’m okay,” Ginny didn’t sound too convincing.
“Are you sure?” Teresa asked. Ginny picked up her dress and smiled, remembering how great she looked the night of the ball.
“Yes, I’m sure” Ginny was now confident in her decision. She didn’t need a new dress to look good. She would rock her dress for the second time and it would be great. “Plus you and Blaise will be the only ones here who saw me in it. So it’s almost like its new.” Teresa agreed with her and the girls began to get ready.
It didn’t take them nearly as long to get ready as it took them for the ball. Teresa showered as Ginny did her nails and Teresa did her nails while Ginny showered. Then they both helped each other do their makeup and hair. Teresa had written down the spells Hermione had used for the ball.
Teresa decided to curl her hair loosely and put half of it up with a beaded clip. She only applied a little makeup-some eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara.
Ginny chose to straighten her hair since she had curled it for the ball. She wanted prove she could make the outfit look new. She put a silver headband on to push her hair out of her face and she wore the silver earrings she got from Hermione and the necklace and ring she got from her Brother.
“Oh wow, that is gorgeous!” Teresa motioned towards Ginny’s necklace. “Where’d you get it?”
“Thanks, my brothers gave it to me as a gift.” Ginny was beaming. “I love yours as well!” Teresa was wearing a simple chain with a silver star hanging from it. Teresa left the room to find her shoes and Ginny applied her finishing touches. She shortened the dress to just above her knee, charmed the silver beads to sparkle and changed the shape of the brooch at her waist.
Teresa returned to the room wearing five inch silver high heels. Ginny put on her own heels which were barely four inches and then met Teresa in front of the mirror.
“We look gorgeous!” Teresa squealed as she looked both their images over. They spent a moment praising each other’s makeup and hair then made their way downstairs. The guests would be arriving soon.
As they made it to the top of the stairs they stopped. Blaise and Draco were standing at the bottom. Teresa gasped lightly and turned towards Ginny. “Do I look okay?” Ginny laughed at her friend then assured her that she looked amazing. By the time they started down the stairs Blaise and Draco had noticed them.
Blaise’s smile grew each step Teresa took. Draco’s eyes widened slightly then he turned and pretended not to notice them. Ginny felt self-conscious as she descended the stairs, what if Blaise noticed she was repeating her dress and thought it petty or something?
It was a silly thought since Blaise was so wrapped up in Teresa he wouldn’t notice if a hippogriff flew in wearing dress robes. Ginny reminded herself of how great she looked and tried to forget about it being her second time wearing it.
“Hey,” Teresa said shakily as she reached the bottom of the stairs.
“Hey,” Blaise replied, staring at Teresa. “You look beautiful” he finally shook himself out of his stunned stupor.
“Thanks,” Teresa smiled. “Have you guys been waiting for long?”
“No, we just got here” Blaise reassured her. “I wasn’t sure if you guys needed any help beforehand so we came a little early. I hope thats okay.”
“Yeah that’s fine! Let me just find my mom,” Teresa moved into the ballroom leaving Ginny alone with the guys.
“You look great, Ginny” Blaise said, sounding sincere. Teresa called to Blaise and he excused himself. Ginny wasn’t sure if she should follow but she thought Teresa may like the a little time alone with him so she stayed.
“Couldn’t afford a new dress, Weasely?” Draco had somehow come to be standing next to her. Ginny wasn’t hurt by the comment, she was merely confused. He hadn’t seen her in this dress before, he had only seen it as the full gown.
“I found no reason to buy a new dress when I had a perfectly good one.” Ginny owned up to it. He was obviously trying to get to her and she wouldn’t let him. “I know I look good and there’s nothing you can say that will change that.”
“You’re right,” Draco said, his voice void of any sarcasm or harshness. Ginny turned to ask him what he meant by that but he was already making his way over to help Blaise.
The more Draco said the less Ginny understood. It was a lot easier to read him when he isn’t talking. She has learned to tell when he’s angry, when he’s annoyed and even when he’s upset just by reading his expressions but then he goes and opens his mouth and says something like “You’re right”. What in the bloody hell is that supposed to mean?
Instead of dwelling on Draco’s insanity Ginny went to see if they needed any help. Mrs. Kildee was making Blaise and Draco move tables around at the moment. A task Draco did not seem to enjoy. Surprisingly he didn’t complain. Well at least not in front of Mrs. Kildee.
The boys finished moving the tables just in time. Guest began to filter in in clusters of two or more. The women were dressed lavishly; Ginny felt underdressed but Teresa didn’t seem to care so she brushed it aside.
Mrs. Kildee asked Teresa to welcome the guests with her so Ginny was left alone with Blaise and Draco again. She wasn’t really sure what to say, fortunately a try of hors d’oeuvres floated by and Ginny took one. If she was eating she had an excuse to keep quiet.
However she finished the bitesized treat rather quickly and again tried to think of something to say. “So where’s your father, Malfoy?”
“Mother got sick so he decided to stay home,” The lie was spoken so smoothly, so effortlessly it was nearly impossible to tell it wasn’t true. But Ginny knew it wasn’t true but she couldn’t figure out the real reason his father didn’t come.
“Oh that’s a shame,” Ginny tried to sound sincere but it wasn’t easy pretending you wanted the man who almost killed you to be at the same party as you. “I hope your mum feels better” the second statement was much more genuine. Ginny had nothing against his mother even though she did raise the most arrogant and insufferably prat in Hogwarts.
“How was your christmas, Ginny?” Blaise stopped Draco from answering Ginny.
“It was great, how about you?” Ginny turned her attention away from Draco and instead conversed with Blaise. They talked about their holiday and what gifts they received. She even showed them her necklace.
“Atvērt liesma” she whispered into the necklace. Blaise thought it was brilliant but Draco merely scoffed.
“Hey guys,” Teresa greeted them as she returned to the group. “sorry about that, my mom thinks people actually care whether or not they see the entire family when they come in. I don’t even know half these people yet they’ve all told me how much I’ve grown.”
“It’s the same when my mum throws her parties,” Blaise said “the worst part is when they pinch your cheeks. It’s like they think I’m five years old.” The group started to exchange stories about all the parties they’d gone too except for Ginny.
She listened as Draco told about the time his some old lady thought he was her grandson and tried taking him home. The story had the whole group nearly dying with laughter. Even Draco was smiling at the effect his story had on his friends.
The stories didn’t last long though. Teresa realized Ginny couldn’t really relate and decided it wasn’t fair to talk about it. Ginny knew she meant well by it but it didn’t really do any good. It made her feel like an outsider. At least while she was listening she could pretend she could relate.
There was an awkward silence as the group tried to think of something else to talk about. Then Draco suggested finding a table before they were all full. The tables were originally to one side of the room but now they were scattered about the perimeter leaving a large space in the middle.
There was an orchestra set up at one of the room so Ginny assumed there would be dancing of some sort later. Ginny hoped she could find someone to dance with otherwise she would have to sit out.
Draco led them to a table in the very back corner. For some reason he thought being out of the way and nearly hidden was the perfect thing for them. Ginny was sure it was because he didn’t want to be seen with her but it wasn’t like they were alone.
No one objected to his table pick so they all sat. “Do you girls want something to drink?” Blaise asked politely looking towards Teresa first.
“Um I could go for some punch,” Teresa replied, smiling softly. Blaise turned towards Ginny and she asked for the same. Blaise and Draco left to retrieve the drinks. “Are you having fun?” Teresa asked “I’m sorry I left you alone”
“It’s fine, I got to catch up with Blaise and watch Draco brood.” Ginny reassured her friend. Ginny was surprised by how high strung Teresa was acting. She was worrying about the most menial things it wasn’t like her at all. “Are you okay Teresa?”
“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” Ginny could see right through Teresa’s deflection.
“You’re nervous about something, I can tell” Ginny wished Teresa would just open up to her. “Is it about Blaise?”
“No, it has nothing to do with Blaise” Teresa looked even more worried now. “Can you keep a secret?”
“Of course I can” Ginny moved closer to Teresa, making sure no one could over hear. “you can tell me anything”
“My parents have-”
“Here we are ladies,” Teresa jumped as Blaise put a glass of punch in front of her. Ginny groaned internally, they had the worst timing.
To the surprise of Ginny Draco slid a glass in front of her. “Weasley,” Draco nodded towards her.
“Thank you, Malfoy” Ginny smiled softly. Teresa and Blaise began talking quiet;y to each other so Ginny turned towards Draco. “So you’ve been to a lot of these kinds of parties?”
“Yeah growing up it seemed I was at a party at least once a week.” Draco answered honestly to the surprise of Ginny. “you obviously wouldn’t know what that’s like”
“Actually we have parties at my house all the time,” Ginny said matter-of-factly, Draco didn’t seem to believe her. “I mean with 6 brothers every day is almost like a party. Add in some other relatives and it can become a real mad house” Ginny nearly fell out of her seat as Draco cracked a smile. However it was gone before she could appreciate it. They fell into a slightly uncomfortable silence. Ginny tried to think of something to say but came up blank.
“Are you hungry?” Draco finally broke the silence. Ginny wasn’t really hungry but it was better than sitting and doing nothing. They left the table and made their way to a long table holding food and drinks for the cocktail hour.
“Ever had escargot?” Draco asked, Ginny shook her head no. Even if her family had had the money to eat it she wasn’t sure she would like snail. “It sounds disgusting but try it,”
Ginny decided to trust him so she took a cracker holding a glop of brown mush. Draco took one for his own plate and recommended a few other things for Ginny to try. Once their plates were full they made their way back to the table.
“Try the escargot first,” Draco instructed her. Ginny eyed it suspiciously but Draco urged her to eat it again. “Trust me,” The statement made Ginny freeze. Trust me. It seemed so simple but he was a Malfoy. The sworn nemesis of her brother and Harry. How could she trust him?
“Unless you’re too scared” Ginny could not let Draco think she was scared. She grabbed the cracker and ate it. At first the texture was a little unnerving but once she got over that she realized it was delicious. “So?”
Ginny was still chewing so she just nodded. “That was delicious!” She said once she finally swallowed. Draco just smirked smugly. Ginny continued to eat the odd foods Draco had told her to try. They were all so different from what she was used to but she found that she liked them. She also realized that she was really enjoying herself.
Before she knew it the cocktail hour was over and the Kildees were making a small speech. Teresa and Blaise turned away from each other to listen. Ginny tried to listen to Mrs. Kildee but it wasn’t very interesting.
Finally the speech was over and the orchestra began to play a laidback tune. Food suddenly appeared on all the tables like at Hogwarts and everyone dug in.
Ginny tried to eat as neatly as possible but somehow she managed to spill gravy on her lap and get mashed potatoes in her hair. She attempted to discreetly clean it up but of course Draco noticed,
“Having trouble?” Draco asked, looking smug. Ginny’s cheeks blushed bright red but she said nothing. The group talked about what they’d done over break as they finished their dinner. Then the dancing began.
Blaise immediately asked Teresa to dance, leaving Draco and Ginny alone. Ginny wasn’t sure what to do. Sure Draco and her had been acting almost like friends but she wasn’t about to ask him to dance.
“So are we going to dance, or what?” Draco spoke so nonchalantly Ginny couldn’t help but be suspicious. However there didn’t seem to be any other options.
“I guess so,” Ginny and Draco got up and walked to the dance floor. The song had a faster beat almost like the one from the ball. But it wasn’t the same steps, Ginny wasn’t sure what steps went to the song but Draco obviously did as he lead her onto the floor.
Ginny slipped her hand into his and rested the other on his shoulder. Draco began to lead her in a simple forward backward step. There was a good foot of room between them and it was kind of awkward.
As Draco went to move forward Ginny stopped causing him to run into her. Ginny apologized profusely; Draco just rolled his eyes. They both adjusted the positioning of their hands again but now Ginny moved closer into him. She thought she was acting nonchalant however Draco’s raised eyebrows told her otherwise.
Ginny smiled innocently and they got back to dancing. The faster song slowly ended and a slower one came on. It wasn’t the rocking-back-and-forth kind of slow song. It was more of a graceful-moving-around-the-floor kind of song.
Ginny could see Blaise leading Teresa around the floor. They looked perfect together. She couldn’t help but wonder how she looked dancing with Draco. It felt pretty nice. His hands were surprisingly warm and every time she looked up she was met by penetrating grey eyes.
She was reminded of Darcy as Draco led her around the dance floor. Of course her dance with Darcy had been very different from the waltz she was doing with Draco but it didn’t feel that different.
The music began to crescendo. Ginny could feel the song coming to the end. Would that mean they’d stop dancing? Were two dances too much? Why did Ginny even care? This was Draco Malfoy, she shouldn’t have danced with him in the first place. His father was one of the most well known-
Ginny didn’t know where the scream came from. The music and dancing stopped immediately and the room filled with black smoke. Once it cleared there was a band of deatheaters in the front of the hall. Some people ran, others didn’t know what to do. Ginny stared at Draco as if he should have something to say but he seemed as confused as everyone else.
“Oh what a lovely party!” A shrill voice sounded. Even before Ginny saw who said it she had recognized the voice. It was Bellatrix Lestrange. Draco was shaking his head and staring at Ginny as she took a step back from him. “Why wasn’t I invited?” Bellatrix whined.
“You’re not welcome here,” Teresa’s father moved out of the crowd. Ginny could see the fear in Teresa’s eyes as well as Blaise’s.
“Now Mr. Kildee, that’s just rude” Bellatrix was the only one speaking as if she was in charge of the mission. Ginny couldn’t help but wonder where Draco’s father was. “I think you need to be taught some manners!” Bellatrix let out an evil cackle and raised her wand.
Teresa launched towards her father screaming. Blaise was barely able to control her. Before Bellatrix could utter a single spell the air was filled with loud cracks.
Then “Expelliarmus!” as well as several other spells were bellowed by the suddenly appearing Order. Ginny grabbed Draco by the hand and pulled him towards Blaise and Teresa.
“Expelliarmus!” Ginny screamed as a death eater launched towards her. The death eater dodged the spell and threw another at her. Before Ginny could even think to duck a shield formed in front of her. Draco had casted a protection spell.
“Draco!” Ginny froze as she heard the shrill voice behind her. Draco kept hold of Ginnys hand but immediately turned towards his aunt. “Are you fraternizing with a blood traitor?”
“No I’m gaining leverage,” Draco spoke coolly, neither Ginny nor Bellatrix seemed to understand what he meant until he spoke up again. “See you at the manor” Draco twisted on the spot, pulling Ginny with him. He was kidnapping her.
Ginny tried to fight him but his grip was too tight and she was afraid of being splinched. She was also in complete shock. Draco wasn’t supposed to be bad. Ginny could have sworn he wasn’t like his father. Obviously she was wrong.
Ginny felt ground beneath her again as they reached the manor. Draco loosened his grip on her arm and Ginny moved away from him. She looked up expecting to find a mansion but instead they were surrounded by trees.
Ginny grabbed her wand and aimed it directly at Draco. “What are you doing?” Her voice was shaking as was the hand pointed at Draco.
“Calm down, okay?” Draco put his hands up in a surrender-like manner. “I’m saving both our lives.”
“How exactly are you saving my life?” Ginny’s anger was rising. “You kidnapped me!”
“Yes, but only because I had too. If we had stayed Bellatrix would have killed you and if I had run away with you she would have killed me.” Draco spoke calmly but Ginny could tell he wasn’t sure how she was going to react. “If you haven’t noticed I didn’t bring you to where I said I was going to” At that, Ginny turned around and inspected their whereabouts.
“Then where are we?” Ginny was willing to try and believe him but she kept her wand up. “And what are we going to do now?”
“We’re in a forest about 5 miles from Teresa’s house. I think we should go to your house,” The statement surprised Ginny as much as it surprised Draco. He seemed disgusted by the idea of it and Ginny wasn’t too happy either. “It’s not the most agreeable idea but it’s the most logical one.”
Ginny couldn’t help but agree with him. If they went to her house she would be safe and the order could help Draco. That’s if her brothers don’t kill him first. “I think we should make you some sort of disguise, at least until I can explain to my brothers everything that’s happened.”
“What kind of disguise?” Draco didn’t seem too happy with the idea of changing his looks. Ginny assured him it would only be temporary and not too drastic and he finally consented.
Ginny worked on his appearance and he worked on an explanation. After only ten minutes they had a whole story worked out and Draco was no longer himself. Instead he was a few inches shorter with black hair and a slight beard. His hair was cut shorter and he was wearing a fake earring as an extra touch.
“Ready?” Ginny asked Draco, extending her hand to his. He nodded and grasped her hand. They turned on the spot and apparated. Ginny immediately felt the pull and slight suffocation that came with apparating; she had never been a fan of it. She instinctively grasped Draco’s hand tighter. If they weren’t in the midst of apparating he would have seen her blush scarlet and she would have seen him smirk.