Chapter 14 : Conviction
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“Kelly, I was wondering if I could talk to you for a minute,” Ginny panted after running down two hallways.
Kelly was surprised to see Ginny out of breath from jogging down the hallway to catch up to her. “Erm- sure. Of course.”
“Do you remember the night before the Christmas Ball, there was a Prefect meeting, right?”
“Yes,” Kelly answered. “It was to go over the rules and regulations to be enforced during the ball. Why?”
Ginny swallowed. “Because-was- Was Draco ever at the meeting?”
“He was there.”
Dangerously, Ginny revealed that she had been spying on them in the study room. “But didn’t you leave before him?”
“I did think it was odd, but I didn’t think much on it to be honest,” she said, smiling. She hated Malfoy and thought he was a conceited peroxide-head.
“All right, well thanks,” Ginny said quickly before excusing herself. Walking to a study room, she couldn’t shake the thought that Draco might have been telling the truth. She remembered that at first, she hadn’t thought it was Draco because the lad didn’t sound like him. Plus, she couldn’t recall the last time she had heard Draco make fun of younger students. Then again, he could have teased them when she wasn’t around…but still… She’d have to talk to Hermione, just to make sure…
Ginny was finally able to talk to Hermione after supper when they were studying in the common room. “Hermione? Was Draco at the Prefect meeting the night before the ball?”
Hermione seemed to be a kilometre away in another world even though, Ginny noticed, that she wasn’t reading the book in her hands.
“Hermione?” she asked again.
“What? Oh, I’m sorry…” she apologized as Ginny repeated her question again. “He was. Why?”
“Just wondering…” she said turning her attention back to her Charms work. A moment or so passed before she asked again, “Hermione?”
“Yeah?” Hermione looked at the younger girl.
“Is there any way to charm yourself to look like someone else?”
“No,” she said factually. She thought about it for a moment. “But there is a potion you can concoct to change into someone else for about an hour. It’s called the Polyjuice Potion. You have to add a hair of the person-”
Hermione rambled on and on about the ingredients, so much so that Ginny suspected Hermione had made it herself once. Then it dawned on her. “Oh my god! Draco had been telling the truth!” She put the pieces together-Millicent was Crabbe’s girlfriend and Pansy- she would kiss anything that resembled Draco… “Oh my god!”
Laura sat in the Slytherin common room on a desk where a few second-year students were studying. She crossed her legs as she turned to the next page of the book she was reading.
Draco reclined on a couch in perfect view, with his hands behind his head. He liked his current position very much because he could partially see up her skirt. “Nice legs,” he remarked, catching her off-guard.
She didn’t quite hear what he said because she was reading, but recognized the familiar drawl. “Excuse me?” She looked up from her book and saw Draco smirking.
“I said, ‘nice legs’.”
A few second-years giggled while the others shushed them, wanting to listen.
“Whose?” she wondered casually.
“Thanks…” she replied in an if-you-say-so tone before returning to her book.
The whispers from the twelve-year-olds continued until they simultaneously got up and left them alone. Laura was oblivious to their departure until Draco spoke up.
“Bet you loved coming back here only to find your boyfriend in Granger’s arms.”
“Piss off!” she retorted, trying to find the compulsion to comprehend what she was reading instead of listening to his voice.
“Bloody Gryffindors!” He muttered even though she was trying to read. He didn’t move from his spot on the couch.
“What about your precious Weaselette,” she asked, flipping the page. He was shocked that she knew about it and it registered in his face. She smiled impishly. “Don’t think I don’t know about it! I’ve heard you’ve gone soft…got Weasel-fever.” Her voice was coated with sugary-sweetness.
He sat up, swinging his legs to the floor. “Last we spoke you were still in love with Scar-head!”
Taking offence to that, she threw her book down and faced him. “You were with that mudblood-lover for nearly a year! How did that tragically end?” she questioned sardonically.
He stood up, absolutely appalled that she would mention Ginny as a mudblood-lover. “She broke up with me because she thought I was cheating on her! All right?!” he seethed, standing right in front of her now.
She snorted. “Didn’t you?” She uncrossed her legs, but remained seated on the desk.
“I DIDN’T!” he obstinately replied.
“I find that hard to believe… Who was it? Granger?”
“HELL NO! Granger’s with Weasley…”
“Then why would she be snogging Harry?” She crossed her arms.
“I don’t know. That slag can die for all I care! It’s partially her fault for breaking us up. Oh sod it all, I don’t care! Ginny wouldn’t believe I’m innocent anyhow.”
“Innocent?!” she chuckled. “You’re far from that!”
“You’re one to talk!”
“How about Weasley? Was she a good shag?”
“We didn’t ever—”
“I find that hard to believe,” Laura scoffed. She read his expression carefully. He obviously was telling the truth since he’d normally brag about his latest conquest. “Who were you shagging on the side, then?”
“No one! I haven’t since—” he stopped himself short.
He didn’t respond for a moment and the information sunk in. “I can’t believe that Draco Malfoy, the toff who shags anyone with—”
“Tell me, who’ve you been shagging in America?” he interrupted her. “Were they comparable to Potter?” He was in her face now.
“No one! I’m not a slag!” she yelled.
“Well, I’m the best you’ll ever have and you know it’s true!” he spat.
Without a spilt-second going by, she slapped him. Bitter tears strained behind her lids.
Stunned, he put a hand to where her palm had made contact with his skin. He saw the tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that…” He showed his true self to her then, his vulnerability, as if she were like Ginny who compelled him to tell her everything.
He looked at the girl in front of him as if he saw her for the first time. He knew he had corrupted her…just as he would have done with Ginny. He reached over with the hand, which was previously on his face, to wipe the tears from hers, sighing.
“Sodding Gryffindors,” she said; her voice barely above a whisper. “They’ve ruined us…they’ve made us weak…susceptible...”
“Sod them…” he said with a voice identical in volume as he leaned down to kiss her…
There was nothing else around them when they kissed. It was as if everything disapparated and they were left with only each other. Their commiseration and grief over their lost loves melted away in their passionate embrace.
Laura’s body involuntarily began glowing orange like when she performed a healing trance on Draco last year. Their thoughts merging as their bodies became one. The mutual concession, I understand, was a previously unimaginable release.
This wasn’t about their family names. This wasn’t about Gryffindors or Slytherins. This wasn’t about Ginny Weasley or Harry Potter. This was a moment in time all to themselves, away from all of that. This was their moment of shared understanding. We’re the same…
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