Chapter 14 : Confrontations and Captivation
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The huddled figure was silent and still for a moment. He turned his head in order to face the man. “You dare to threaten me, cub?” he said, his voice stinging like acid. “I was there when the rules were written,” he was on his feet, walking slowly towards the door.
The younger man of the two smiled, but couldn’t help but feel a cold shudder running down his spine – the Dementors were getting restless, they wouldn’t leave them alone much longer. “Don’t shoot the messenger,” he said sarcastically, raising his hands in mock surrender. He backed away from the door and turned around to light a cigarette. “‘m just telling you what Father told me, so don’t get all -”
A hand suddenly closed around his neck, pulling him forcefully back against the cell door. His cigarette fell to the ground and he reached for his wand only to come up empty – he’d had to turn it in at the entrance to the prison.
Goosebumps sprang up on his bulging arms as he felt the older man inhaling his scent, nose very close to his right ear.
“You would be wise to remember your place, pup,” he said in a deathly quiet voice, spitting the last word out and squeezing a little bit tighter on the man’s neck, whose face was turning a nasty shade of purple. He’d started to see dark dots dance across his field of vision.
“I’m going to get out of here real soon, pup,” Skorponok said, inhaling the man’s scent again. “And then I’m going to do two things. One – kill the auror that put me here, and two,” he threw the man to the floor in front of his cell.
Gasping for air and struggling to get back on his feet, the younger man looked up at an impassive Skorponok.
“So, you slept with him,” Hermione said with a scowl. Ron, who was sitting next to her, balled his fists on the table. Ginny noticed his face changing from pale and freckled to red in two seconds flat.
“You... WHAT!” he shouted suddenly, causing a lady at the table next to them to jump and her husband to mutter something like ‘really,’ with a disapproving tut.
“Ron, would you calm down please?” Ginny said with a roll of her eyes. “It’s not like I’m some defenceless twelve year old who was taken advantage of.” She shook her head disbelievingly and took a gulp of the hot tea in front of her. “And to answer your question Hermione, we didn’t sleep together... well... okay technically we did -”
“So you had sex with a man you barely know?!” Ron bellowed furiously, standing up from the table suddenly. The entire restaurant went quiet.
Hermione dropped her head into her hands and was shaking her head slowly while Ginny only gave her brother a disbelieving look. She stood up and turned to face the people who were shamelessly staring at the trio now.
“Ron Weasley, ladies and gentlemen,” she said sarcastically, and she started clapping.
The room was still quiet, so she promptly stopped clapping and sat back down in her chair. Ron looked a little pale when he finally sat back down.
“Sorry about that,” he said in an emotionless tone. “Forgot about... err... the other people,” he chuckled nervously, suddenly stuffing his face with his breakfast.
Their audience had gotten back to their own business, so the room was again filled with the bustle one comes to associate with restaurants. Hermione was taking a long gulp of scalding tea, her face beet red.
Ginny cleared her throat. “If you’re all done?” she said quirking and eyebrow. The couple opposite her nodded wordlessly. “We didn’t – as my idiot brother so eloquently stated – have sex,” she whispered the last word in fear of the surrounding tables hearing their conversation again. “I spent the night at his place – Ron, I swear if you open your mouth again. Brother or no, I will kill you without blinking!”
Ron, who’d looked as if he were about to interject again, clamped his mouth shut tight and looked down at the table.
“We fell asleep on his bed together. That’s all, I swear.” Ginny concluded, taking another sip of tea.
Hermione couldn’t help but chuckle softly. “Well things did look a little fishy, Ginny,” she shrugged. “I mean you coming out of his apartment with your hair all mussed,” she raised an eyebrow.
“Well now you know the truth,” Ginny said, self-consciously suddenly flattening her already straight head of hair.
Since the wedding was only a day away, Ron and Hermione had gotten a portkey to Holyhead in order to go and surprise Ginny with a visit and travel to Ottery st. Catchpole together.
When they arrived at her apartment, however, she didn’t seem to be home. They were about to go and check the quidditch stadium, when the next door apartment’s door opened and Ginny tiptoed out, her hair mussed something fierce and her clothes wrinkled.
“So you didn’t sleep with him... at least in that way?” Ron asked with a raised eyebrow.
Ginny heaved a heavy sigh. “I’m sorry Ron, if I’d know you were new to the whole ‘conversation’ thing, I would have drawn pictures,” she said sarcastically.
“Well, there’s no need to get all snappy with me, Ginevra,” he said in a huff.
“Okay, you two calm -” Hermione tried, but Ginny talked over her.
“I’m sorry, Ronald, but since when is it necessary for me to discuss every detail of my sex-life with you?”
“Ginny -” Hermione said uselessly.
“Since you’re my sister, Ginevra,” Ron shot back; ignoring Hermione’s restraining hand on his knee.
“Ron -” Hermione tried again.
“Oh, that’s rich!” Ginny exclaimed, throwing her hands into the air. “Why are you so interested in my and Harry’s lives when you didn’t ever do anything like this when Dean and I were together.”
Hermione had given up entirely and was gulping down the remnants of her tea while flagging down their waiter for the bill.
“Speaking of Dean,” Ron said, suddenly changing the topic. “He’s heartbroken Ginny; shouldn’t you just give him another chance?”
Ginny fell against the back of her chair, feeling as if someone had just punched her in the gut.
“I mean he’s really sorry about what happened and all, but you might have overreacted a little... wait... where are you going?” he asked with a quizzical look on his face as she stood up from the table.
Ginny had picked up her bag from the floor and her lips were tight and her eyes narrow. Hermione sat frozen with her hands in her purse, staring incredulously at her boyfriend.
“You knew about this?” Ginny asked Hermione quietly, who shook her head and pursed her lips.
“Well then,” Ginny huffed. “I’d best be heading home. Hermione, thank you for breakfast. Ron, don’t come near me for at least a whole day if you have any common sense in that big fat head of yours.”
“Ginny, sit down,” Ron said dismissively. “You’re overreacting again.”
“I’m coming with you,” Hermione said after pulling out some muggle money from her purse. “We’ll see you back at the Burrow, Ron,” she said with a quick peck on his cheek.
“How could he?” Ginny said in a muffled voice as they entered her apartment. She cursed the tears that were threatening to start running down her face.
“You know Ron,” Hermione said quietly. “He’s a bit... clueless at times.” She sat down on Ginny’s bed and watched her storm about the room, packing her things.
“A bit?” Ginny laughed darkly. “He chose one of his mates over his own flesh... and... blood!” she threw items of clothing into her bag in synchronisation with the last three words.
“He’ll come around,” Hermione said with a frown. “He doesn’t even know Harry all that well yet.”
“Exactly!” Ginny said, standing up straight with two pairs of shoes in her hands. “Flats or heels?” she asked with a dejected voice.
“Well, you love the heels,” Hermione shrugged. “But the flats would be more comfortable and you’ve had them forever.”
“Well what if I didn’t want comfortable?” Ginny huffed and started pacing the room. “What if the flats just didn’t make me feel – beautiful or wanted anymore? What if I realise that the flats are just on my feet to be seen with me, and think they should be the only shoes in my life? What if I love those heels, but I’m afraid of twisting my heel because they’re still so new. What am I supposed to do if everybody expects me to wear the flats?”
Hermione furrowed her brow. “We are still talking about shoes, right?”
Ginny fell down on her bed next to Hermione. “Yes... No... I don’t know!”
Hermione pursed her lips. “Wine.”
“Pardon?” Ginny said, lifting her arm from her eyes.
“We need wine. Lots and lots of wine,” Hermione said standing up.
Ginny frowned. “I don’t particularly think that wine would solve this problem, Hermione.”
“You’re no fun,” Hermione whined, sitting back down next to Ginny.
“And we’ve officially swapped roles in our relationship, Hermione,” Ginny chuckled. “Aren’t you supposed to be the voice of reason?”
“Okay,” Hermione said seriously, crossing her legs in the bed and facing Ginny. “First things first. Why did you freak out so heavily over the whole Dean thing?”
Ginny lifted an eyebrow. “Because I feel guilty?”
“Why would that be?” Hermione asked.
“Because I’m the one that gave up on our relationship without a legitimate reason.”
“But you didn’t love him, right?”
Ginny shook her head. “It just died between us – every other day we found ourselves fighting over something or other.”
“Right, so that’s legitimate enough for now. Next up, why do you feel nervous about the whole Harry thing?”
Ginny was quiet.
“I guess I feel that we’re moving too fast, and I’m scared of messing things up with him because of that. He’s everything I want, Hermione.”
“So, basically, you’re afraid of a replay of what happened with Dean?”
“Are you seriously asking that question?” Ginny asked while rolling her eyes.
“I need facts to reason things out – that’s the way I function,” Hermione said with a shrug.
“Fine,” Ginny said with a heavy sigh, sitting up on the bed. “I don’t want to... hurt him the way I hurt Dean – I can’t lose him too.”
Hermione pulled back a little. “That’s a little selfish, don’t you think?”
Ginny’s head fell to her hands. “I know it sounds horrible when I put it like that -”
“Absolutely horrible,” Hermione agreed.
Ginny shot her a look. “Whose side are you on?”
“Well, since Harry is practically alone in all of this – his.” She said seriously. “Don’t look at me like that, Ginny. Have you stopped to think that maybe he could also get hurt in all of this?”
Ginny was silent.
“A monologue, then?” Hermione asked, and shrugged when she received no reply. “Well, you told me that you’re in a relationship with him now – much to your brother’s dismay, I might add – so that kind of gives you the responsibility of watching out for his feelings as well as your own.”
She waited a minute, but Ginny was still mute.
“Don’t start this relationship off built on a lie, Ginny. If you don’t see yourself with him in the future – let him go now.”
Ginny sighed. “I never said that I didn’t see myself with him in the future.”
“Well then, do tell,” Hermione said with a confused look.
“He’s the type of guy you can’t help but imagine yourself getting married to; or having a bunch of babies with dark hair and green eyes – living in a quaint little village -”
“But?” Hermione prompted after Ginny had paused for a few seconds.
Harry woke up with heavy eyelids that morning.
“Gin?” he croaked, reaching out for her, only to find her side of the bed cold.
He sat up quickly, shoved on his glasses and looked around. Immediately he pushed the covers off himself and got out of bed, padding towards the living room. On the side table by the door, there lay a piece of folded parchment.
He walked over to the table while scratching his stomach and running a hand through his hair.
Gone to get breakfast with Hermione and Ron – be back soon.
He smiled absentmindedly and put the parchment back on the side table. The he heard faint tapping noise on one of the windows in his kitchen. His heart dropped when he recognised Draco’s pitch black screech owl Dartanion.
Dinner! Malfoys! Tomorrow! his brain shouted at him as he hit his forehead with his fist. How could I have forgotten about that?
He opened took letter gingerly from the dark bird and it took off immediately. When the tore the envelope open, he noticed that it contained two letters.
Deciding to open the plainer looking one first, he unfolded the letter to reveal Draco’s handwriting.
A formal invitation to dinner at the manor as usual accompanies this letter, but I want to talk to you first – so don’t answer yet! Let me know as soon you get this, mate.
Harry breathed a heavy sigh. What am I going to do?
Two hours later, a knock sounded on Harry’s door. He stood up from the couch and walked to the door with a feeling of dread washing over him. He didn’t know how he was going to breach the subject and tell Draco that he wouldn’t be able to make dinner.
“Harry!” Draco exclaimed loudly before pulling him into an awkward – on Harry’s account – hug.
“Draco,” Harry said. “Mate, are you drunk?”
Draco shot him a look.
“What?” Harry chuckled. “We don’t hug... ever. So either you’re drunk or you really want something -”
Draco smiled sheepishly.
Harry sighed as he stood aside and motioned for Draco to enter. “Good – I’m all out of refreshing draught.”
After they had both sat down and Draco had refused Harry’s offer to a drink, Harry folded his hands and looked expectantly at Draco.
Draco shifted awkwardly under his gaze.
“Draco, what the hell is going on – are you in some kind of trouble?” Harry asked, suddenly concerned at his friend’s behaviour.
“No, no. Nothing like that, I just – look Harry, I need a favour,” he blurted out quickly.
“A favour?” Harry asked sceptically.
“Yes – and then I’d owe you one,” Draco answered. Harry motioned for him to go on. “Okay, you know how I invited you to dinner tomorrow night?”
Now Harry was the one squirming. “Yes, about that, mate,”
“I need you to decline the invitation,” Draco rushed with his eyes closed.
Harry was dumbfounded. “What?” he asked before he could stop himself. “Why?”
“Astoria’s been dropping hints that she wants to meet my parents sometime soon -”
“And you immediately thought of uninviting me.” Harry finished for him.
“Don’t say it like that,” Draco said, hanging his head in shame. “You make me sound horrible.”
“Don’t worry, mate, I’ll decline. Can’t blame you for something I would’ve probably also done.” Harry said with a shrug.
Draco looked up with a confused expression. “Just like that? No mental breakdown or inferiority complex to throw at me?”
Harry threw a pillow at Draco’s face. “Bugger off,” he said with a chuckle. “We can grab something to eat some other time. Besides, now I can go to the wedding.”
Draco’s eyes went big as saucers. “We’re... no... Just got together... Wait... What?” he stuttered.
Harry laughed a little. “Ginny asked me to accompany her to her brother’s wedding tomorrow, and I kind of forgot about dinner at the manor -”
“Gee, thanks Potter.” Draco said dryly.
Harry furrowed his brow. “Let’s not forget who uninvited who here,” he said.
Draco pursed his lips in distaste. “Fine – I just don’t want any bad vibes between us because of this, okay?”
Harry rolled his eyes. “We’re grown men – I’m sure we’ll survive.”
Draco chuckled and stood up. “I’m happy you see it that way. Well Potter, that’s my queue to leave-”
Harry noticed for the first time that Draco still had his blue trainee-healer robes on. “Back to work?” he prompted.
“Slave camp’s more like it,” Draco said without a trace of humour. “But yes.”
Harry could see that Draco loved his job, because even as he badmouthed it, he had a sparkle in his eyes – though that could also be because of his new girlfriend, in retrospect. “I’ll send the letter as soon as you’re gone,” Harry said as they reached the door. “Don’t worry, I’ll be polite.”
Draco chuckled and stuck out his hand for Harry to shake. “Thanks, mate,”
“No problem,” Harry said as he grabbed his friend’s hand and shook it.
“Good luck with all of those Weasley’s,” Draco chuckled.
“They’re not all that bad, mate,” Harry began.
“Yes, yes – I’ve really got to go, though,” Draco said as he glanced at his watch. “See you later, Harry.”
“Cheers,” Harry said, and Draco was gone with a popping sound.
Not two seconds after, he heard Ginny’s door open and he stepped back inside a little.
“Just think about what I said, Ginny,” a voice Harry recognised as Hermione Granger said heavily.
“I will, thanks Hermione,” Ginny answered. “Oh, and tell Ron he’s a prat for me?”
The girls laughed and said their goodbyes, and Harry heard the signature crack that came with apparation.
He walked over to Ginny’s front door and knocked, the door opened a few seconds later.
“Hey you,” he said with a smile and pulled her into a hug.
“Hi,” she said softly into his shoulder.
“I missed you this morning,” he said as he let her go out of the hug.
“Yeah, Ron and Hermione surprised me, so we went to breakfast. Sorry for not waking you, but -”
“Gin, it’s fine. Draco came to visit me anyway,” he said with a shrug.
“How’s he?” she asked. Harry couldn’t help but notice that her question lacked real interest.
“Fine, mostly. Just needed a favour,” he said dismissively, not wanting to force her into something she didn’t really want to talk about. “Are we headed to your parents’?”
“In a minute,” she said, smiling and scrunching her nose. As always, close as they were now, she couldn’t help but notice how attractive he was. She found it incredibly distracting. The corners of his mouth twitched in amusement, and for some reason it made her wand to slip her hand behind his neck and pull his lips to hers.
“What?” he whispered slowly, his voice dark and velvety.
She noticed her cheeks flaming up. “Oh nothing.”
Ginny always thought of herself as being bold and forthright – but in reality, she found it very hard to actually act that way. Reaching out and grabbing something she wanted was something she did to chocolate bars or magazines – never the guy she liked. And now – with all of her friends and family expecting her to make a move and decide – she was finding it much more difficult than usual.
His green eyes were dark with intensity and his mouth was twitching again into something resembling a smile vaguely.
This time, she whispered. “What?”
He shook his head and drew her closer unexpectedly – something he’d done many times before, but that she could never get used to – and tilted her head to kiss her.
Ginny felt his hand slip to the small of her back and pulled her closer, the warmth of his body inviting her closer as she surrendered to his toned arms.
All too soon, he was pulling away – his lips swollen, as she knew hers were, and out of breath.
“Why are you stopping,” she asked breathlessly, slightly embarrassed at her pleading tone.
He pecked her on the lips quickly and smiled. “We have a wedding to get to, remember?”
“Wedding schmedding,” she said as she pulled his face towards hers again.
He chuckled lightly into the kiss. “Ginny, we really have to go,” he didn’t sound as if he really wanted to, however.
“Sure,” she said, pulling him tightly against her. “In a minute,” and she was kissing him again.
He felt his self control slipping – along with his hand down her back. “Ginny,” he pleaded. “We have to go – your parents -”
“Fine,” she said in a child-like voice. “I’ll get my things.” She walked towards her bedroom whilst dragging her feet.
Harry couldn’t help but admire the curvature of her body – he bit his lower lip, imagining her small body beneath his, a small moan escaping her lips as he...
“I’ll get mine!” he exclaimed and almost ran out of her apartment, clinging onto his last bit of self-control. His skin felt flushed and his throat was dry thanks to the extreme arousal he was experiencing, so he ran into his bathroom, and splashed his face with the ice cold water.
Self-control, he chided himself mentally. Get a grip on yourself! Don’t just jump her bones whenever you feel the need! She’s special, for heaven’s sake!
Hi guys, I know – the chapter isn’t the wedding I promised and things felt a bit filler-ish, but the next one will be George’s wedding for sure!
Any and all comments welcome!
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