Title: The Truth About Trees
Author: Tiny Q
E-Mail: one_legged_lesbian_seagull at hotmail dot com
A/N: Looky! Another story! Have I lost my mind? Probably. And what's scarier is that I have another idea forming in my deranged mind. This is my first posted first-person fic, but not my first attempt. Don't ask what happened to that. It's kinda odd though that a lot of people are suddenly doing first-person fics. Conspiracy? I think so.
Disclaimer: Sadly, nothing is mine but the plot and I suppose Ginny's new classes though not original they might be.
The Truth About Trees
The Cliched Potions Class
This whole thing started in the summer before I, Ginny Weasley, was to go into my sixth year at Hogwarts. My brother, Ron, had his two best friends, Hermione Granger and Harry Potter, staying over for the whole of August. If it had been a few years back I doubt my cheeks would have been any other color than bright red when I was around the Boy Who Lived.
Lucky for me I had gotten over Harry two summers before when I had a sudden revelation brought about by my falling out of a tree. Now don't ask me how I got to be in that tree in the first place for it is a very long story that would require me to explain many little details that all eventually lead up to me being in that predicament. Not exactly dull but it holds no relevance to this particular story.
Now as I was saying before I went off on my little tree tangent, Ron's friends were over all August. At first I went about as though there was nothing different about his month from the other summer month. Going out in clothes worthy of any die-hard HFV(Ho Fashion Victim) with a good book and drink to sun tan. Ok. Not so much sun tan as sit under a tree. I have fair skin alright? Or I would blare my music extra loud in my room, sing along until someone would bang on the door or the walls or the ceiling but more often than not, the floor. I didn't go anywhere with my friends. They were all on holiday.
It wasn't until the second week that my brother and co. began to notice me. Actually it was Hermione who started it all, coming to sit with me as I read, claiming she couldn't stand the testosterone. In other words she needed a chick to talk to. Namely me. I was more than willing to talk back, after all, all my friends were on holidays. It was quite fun actually. Chatting about guys, music, food, clothes and other girlish things. Ok, I know that sounds lame, but it was fun.
Soon Ron and Harry would join her and our more personal subjects dropped from the conversations and were replaced by stupid jokes and other generally interesting things. In my eyes the three of them had changed so much over the past few years. Ever since Hermione's teeth had been reduced in size three years prior she had begun to take more care with her looks. Her once bushy hair was now charmed to be silky and wavy, travelling down the length of her back. Even though she isn't exactly tall,(actually in my opinion she is quite short, but that's coming from a girl who's 5'10) her strong will and attitude make her seem almost as tall as Ron who is constantly ramming his head into low-hanging lights.
My brother had begun to weight train the year before and is now insanely strong. No one dares to mess with him any more for he is quite volatile if he wants to be. But his explosions of rage are not nearly as frequent as they used to be. It's almost as though he realized that he can't get as far with violence as opposed to a few key words.
And then there is Harry. His hair as messy as ever, hiding his lightning bolt scar and touching the rims of his glasses. Though he isn't as tall as my brother he is still tall. He has a good two to three inches over me. And he is skinny, Merlin he is skinny, but buff at the same time. I suppose it comes with the territory of being a Seeker.
Hermione's attitude is an odd one. She is quite strict about things, almost like McGonagall, yet if my brother and Harry, who both have uniquely dark and twisted senses of humors, get her going she'll laugh and giggle for hours. I personally find some of their jokes quite disturbing but oh well, it was all rather funny.
It all happened slowly, but in the weeks that followed I began to feel more and more accepted in the threesome's circle. I didn't believe it at first, I mean I had been trying to do this for most of my school years but had never succeeded. What was different now? Yet as they made sure I was with them for more and more things I began to push that pesky little voice to the back of my head.
Why shouldn't they want me in their circle? I mean I'm pretty to look at(or so I'm told), I have many interests(more odd than sane) and have been repeatedly told I am quite entertaining if not cute.
Ok. Enough of the ego boost and egotistical talk. All you really need to know is that over the summer I was befriended by my brother and his two friends. And that is how I find myself here. Sitting in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express between my friend Colin Creevey and a now not too shy Neville Longbottom. My brother, Harry and Hermione across from me.
"I still can't believe you did that Neville!" Harry proclaimed. Everyone in the compartment nodded animatedly in agreement.
"Well, what was I supposed to do?" Neville asked in response. "There is only so much nagging I can take before I snap."
"And what a snap it was," Ron said in awe.
"Honestly," Hermione tutted. "You are treating him like a hero! He blew up his grandmother's kitchen for God's sake!"
I was torn between laughter and agreement with the older girl. Ever since Neville had been forced to face Wormtail in Voldemort's annual attack on Harry last year, he had been bestowed with new confidence. In other words he realized he was not a squib but in fact full of enough power to rival most wizards and had taken it upon himself to stand up to anything and anyone that once brought him down. Draco Malfoy was the first victim when he attempted to tease him and found he had a large hole in his midsection. Quite funny if you ask me. Now it seemed that Neville, the former chubby boy gone punk, had finally stood up to his grandmother. In a big way.
"I think I have to agree with Hermione on this one," I added. Albeit for me not to take a chance to put in my two cents. "I think your new found courage is fantastic, Neville. And I'm really happy for you. But isn't blowing up a kitchen a little extreme? I mean didn't you get into trouble with the Ministry?"
"A shit load," Neville said with a grin. "Threatened me with expulsion and removal of my wand. But since it was my first offense they let it slide. That and the fact that most of the officials still remember my parents."
That was another new thing about Neville. He was now very open about his parents. Almost as if he had had a revelation about them. I wonder if he too fell out of a tree.
"Let's change the subject, shall we?" Ron asked, obviously noticing the rising tensions in the compartment. The other occupants shrugged. "Anyone see the Chudley Cannons' game last week?"
I groaned and was not the only one. "Ron, your team sucks," I hissed. "Get over it. They lost. Again."
"Shut up," he snapped at me.
I stuck out my tongue at him.
"You're so ima-" Harry began with a laugh but promptly stopped when Ron did the same thing back.
"Colin," Hermione said pointedly, shooting dark looks at myself and Ron. "How was your summer? I hear you went on a holiday?"
This was the polite side of Hermione. The Head Girl side. Not that it's a big surprise that she got the position. There would be something terribly wrong with the universe if she didn't. Justin Finch-Fletchy was her counterpart in crime. I think the two of them would make a good couple. They both take far to much pride in their jobs. Not that I would ever utter this aloud.
"It was great," Colin said from beside me. I had to smile. Colin was just too cute. A regular sweetie. The kind of guy girls lined up to get. "Dad took Dennis and I to North America. We went all over the US and Canada. I got to see a moose!"
"Oh, wow. A moose," a voice drawled as the compartment doors were pulled open. We all turned to see Draco Malfoy and his two gooneys, Crabbe and Goyle who seemed if possible to have gotten bigger in every way.
Malfoy himself seemed to have changed a fair bit over the summer as well. His face was more defined as though he had lost all the baby-fat, giving him an almost aristocratic look. He seemed taller as well, but that could just be because I am sitting and he is standing. I would wager he was about Harry's height. The rest of him was more filled out, yet he was still skinny, not Harry skinny but pleasantly skinny. Pleasantly skinny? Boy, I think I have been getting too much sun lately.
"Sure it wasn't simply your mother, Creevey?"
"Don't you ever get bored of this, Malfoy?" Ron spat at the blonde. "Every year you come in here and bother us. Don't you have a life?"
"Oh I have a life," Malfoy drawled. "And you are quite fortunate that I make time out of it just to visit you."
"Many words came to mind when you said that," Harry hissed. "And fortunate is definitely not one of them."
Malfoy's blue-gray eyes narrowed as he looked at his enemy. I found he looked rather devilish with his fine hair and pale, pointed face. All he needs are some horns and a tail. Oh yes, we can't forget the tail. I fought back the urge to laugh out loud.
"I find it quite entertaining," Malfoy sneered. "When the freaks of the school begin to pair off. Honestly Potter, I always thought you would end up with the tall oaf beside you rather than the mudblood."
Come to think of it, Harry and Hermione were sitting quite close together. The rest of us seemed to be thinking along those same lines as we stared at the two of them. Hermione blushed while Harry ignored us all. How could Malfoy pick up on that before I did?
"If anyone is gay, Malfoy, it's you," Harry growled back. "How long exactly do you spend shopping and standing in front of the mirror?"
"Don't mistake good taste for homosexuality, Potter," Malfoy hissed, eyes narrowing further. There was a little line between his eyebrows that I know will become permanent if he continues to squint like that. But what do I care? He is a Malfoy after all. "But from the looks of you lot you wouldn't know good taste if it ran around naked and bit you on the nose." His eyes lingered on myself and finally Neville who rose to his feet. Ron and Harry followed suit.
"Out. Now," Neville growled, pulling out his wand.
"Whatever," Malfoy snarled. Nodding to the two behind him, they left.
"What crawled up his ass and died?" Colin asked after the door had slid shut.
"And rolled over several times in the process," I added. The others sat down and I noticed that Harry and Hermione were once again sitting quite close. It seems like it is turning out to be an interesting year.
A valid question, I thought as I led my two friends back to our compartments. They weren't exactly the best of friends, more like dense entities than anything else. But they were loyal and that's what friendships all about, right?
As is habit lately, I find myself running my hand through my fine sliver-blonde hair. The same silver-blonde hair that has been in the Malfoy family for centuries. One of the few bonuses of being a Malfoy in fact. Not that there are many.
Sure you got a shit load of money and pretty much what ever you want, but there's a down side as well. Parents who never really care or say they love you to your face. Simply buy you things instead. Having to live up to your father's expectations to take his place as the heir to the Malfoy family fortune. Pretend to be evil and loyal to the Dark Lord.
Yes, pretend to be evil and loyal. I figured it all out a few years back. In quite a painful way by falling out of a tree. I will say no more about that though. Being evil isn't all it's caked up to be. You always have the "good guys" breathing down your neck which would ultimately make you paranoid. As well, most evil doers are ugly looking. Scars and all that. Take Voldemort for example: from beauty to monster all for power. And ugly and paranoid is no way to go through life.
Another little thing is that if you are going to be evil you got to be on top. Not simply a minion, even if you are a right-hand man. And working under the Dark Lord is a waste of time for the man's ultimate goal is to gain himself ultimate power. Where would I fall into that?
So I suppose if I truly wanted to be evil I could start up my own following. Rise up and knock Voldemort out of the running. Only problem is that I lack the motivation to do so and am rather fond of my good looks.
In conclusion, I am not evil as everyone assumes. Perhaps overly cynical and sarcastic, but that can't be helped. I am a Malfoy after all. Which is why I must pretend to be evil and loyal. At least for now. Can't go giving flowers out to everyone and be all happy. Daddy dearest and his master might catch on. What a tragedy that would be.
"That redheaded girl sure got pretty," Goyle said conversationally as we reclaimed our seats. Though a conversation with Goyle is more like pulling teeth. "Even if she is in Gryffindor," he added hastily.
"Wouldn't' mind a piece of her," Crabbe agreed with a snigger.
I frowned slightly. Yes, the youngest Weasley did seem to have grown into something since last I saw her. I recalled our recent visit to the Dream Team and they clan. She was taller, more filled out. Yet she was still pale, red haired, freckled and dreadfully underfed. Not exactly the kind of girl I would go for. That and her being a Weasley. But I have to admit, there is something about her.
"So are you saying, Crabbe, that you would take the Weasley girl over Parkinson?" I asked innocently. I know perfectly well that my friend has been taken by my former girlfriend, who I now see as insufferably ditzy, for the past few years. This fact was once again confirmed as the boy's face turned a bright shade of red.
Goyle laughed. I chuckled a bit.
"Wouldn't it be funny if Potter was gay?" Goyle asked after a few minutes.
"I could see it," I offered with a slight sneer. Actually I couldn't. And not like I would care if he was. That's none of my business. Though it sounded quite sinister if I agreed. Crabbe and Goyle you see don't know about my revelation either. No one does. They think I am as evil as can be and follow me for it.
"He'd probably like you then," Crabbe said to me, a twisted smile on his face.
"What?" I choked. I defiantly wasn't expecting that.
"Only joking," Crabbe said quickly, panic flashing across his face. As if I would jinx him.
"You should have seen the look on your face though," Goyle laughed. "You looked as if you just found out your dad's a Muggle." He twisted his face to look, what I assumed to be, like me. It was rather humorous, not for the fact that I supposedly looked like that but rather that he looked rather stupid.
The three of us burst out laughing. My two companions snorting away, while my laugh remained rather silent as usual. My body moving as though I was laughing but no sound issuing forth except gasps for breath. I knew the happiness did not reach my eyes. It never does.
A few hours latter Crabbe and Goyle had fallen asleep and I find myself staring out the window. Country side flashes by in an incoherent blur. I find the gloom of it rather comforting, soothing almost. Nice weather makes everyone cheerful. I hate that. Gloomy weather on the other hand puts a damper on their lives. No annoyingly cheerful voices, just calm, reassuring silence.
This is my last year at school. After this I'm on my own. My own man. No one to control me, tell me what to do, how to act, how to dress. Free. Or at least as free as society will let me be.
What will I do with my life? I have been asked this countless times over the past few months. All the adults I meet always ask me this and I can never tell them for I don't know myself. There is so much I can do and yet it's so hard to chose. Hopefully as the year unfolds I'll figure it out.
Which brings another thought to my mind. What will my final year be like? Six years at this school and no year has been quite the same as the other. We have Potter and Voldemort to thank for this I suppose. Keeps life interesting I guess. Wonder what type of sinister plan the Dark Lord has cooked up this year.
As the train rounds a corner to reveal our final destination I feel a mix of excitement and dread. I suppose I will find out soon enough.
The first couple weeks of school went by with their usual mix of stress and nervousness. I have a selection of new courses this year and am finding them a little difficult to adapt to, much to my distress. I keep assuring myself that this will change, I just need to get used to them, yet as everything does in times of distress, that time seems far off.
I have my basic classes: Herbology, DADA, Care of Magical Creatures, Astronomy and Transfiguration. Which I am having no problems with. It's the three new classes that are the cause for my headaches. Magical Medicine, Technical Dueling(A new course taught by the Ministry to encourage the employment of more Aurors) and Advanced Potions.
The first two are more or less simply time consuming and difficult. It's potions that I find quite annoying. I was thrilled at first when Snape told me I was eligible to take the course. The only Gryffindor in the whole school. I always enjoyed potions. Not so much the theory but more the practice. I love to mix and create. Always have.
It's this love for creation that keeps me in. The class is a six/seven split for there are only six students in total taking the course. Only two of us are sixth years. Myself and a snobby Ravenclaw named Rae Gill with whom I have never gotten along. The seventh years consist of Hannah Abbott of Hufflepuff, Padma Patil and Brendon McCathy of Ravenclaw. And of course, Snape's favorite Slytherin and student: Draco Malfoy.
Needless to say I don't really have anyone to talk to and I have never been that great at starting up a conversation with strangers. The four others had become a tightly knit group leaving myself and Malfoy out. The git always sits behind me for some annoying reason. I greatly dislike when people sit behind me. Especially when that person is my family's enemy.
I'm sitting in this class right now in fact, doodling absentmindedly on my parchment as Snape goes over the potions lab he had us write up last night. A rabbit. A girl. A snitch. The beginnings of a cute boy.
"You all must break into groups of two," Snape's voice sliced through the doodlesk frame of my mind. I snapped my head up to look at him. Surely I must have heard incorrectly. I mean, this has never happened before. It's always been independent work. My heart sank as the four students seated before me paired off cheerfully. This meant-
"Move over Weasley," a cold voice drawled to my right. I looked over and my heart sank further as I saw Malfoy standing beside me, belongings in hand. Spirits dropping faster than a 1000 ton weight over a cliff, I scooted down the bench I was seated on, dragging my stuff across the table with me.
"As you know, this potion will take a fair amount of time," Snape said in his usual oily voice. His eyes flicked across the class and paused at myself and Malfoy. He seemed almost amused. "About two classes. You can come in after classes if need be to complete it. Through out the year you can do this with out asking permission. But abuse this privilege and you will be punished accordingly." He glared at the six of us. "I will be marking you on cooperation and the potion itself." His lip twitched. "Any questions?"
The petite class remained silent.
"Alright, you may begin."
I looked down at my lab which I now realized was covered in doodles. This meant I would have to rewrite the bloody thing. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
"You draw," Malfoy said, looking at my lab as well. There seemed to be an odd look of humor on his face that I just didn't like.
I frowned slightly. "More doodle," I responded, "I don't have time to draw."
"Pity," he said, then turned to his own lab which was neatly written. "You prepare the first half of the ingredients, I'll do the second half." I looked down at the list realizing it was quite long. I nodded. "And Weasley," he sneered quietly. "Fight off that natural urge to fuck things up. I want to get a good grade."
I looked at him sharply and resisted the urge to give him the finger. Snape was prowling about. "Oh but it's so difficult," I sneered back in much the same undertone, pulling out what I would need to prepare. "But then you probably know that better than I do."
He looked at me coldly and I smirked back. Bloody git. I'll show him.
I still can't believe I'm working with that bloody Weasley. She's so damned cocky even for a Gryffindor. It seemed her tendency to cower had disappeared along with her childish looks.
We'd been working silently for the past hour while the other two groups chatted merrily away. Not for the first time I wished they would shut up. Their voices were interrupting the brooding I was attempting to complete.
I don't think Weasley knew it when she said it, but I do know what it's like to have to fight off a natural urge. The urge to follow the ingrained teachings of my father. Yeah, Dark Arts. I really hate that man. Who is he to tell me I must be evil? Why doesn't he just-
A tapping noise to my left once again pulls me from my mental state. Weasley was tapping her blue quill annoyingly against the table.
"Do you mind?" I hissed, glaring at her. She looked mildly back.
"No," she said simply, continuing her tapping. I looked around for Snape. He was looking disapprovingly at the Hufflepuff's sliced Dragon Wings.
"Well I do," I hissed back, glaring.
"That's nice," she said absently.
"Why aren't you working?" I demanded, my eyes not leaving the moving quill.
"I'm done," she said. "But I have to wait for you to finish before I can start the potion."
"How horrible for you," I drawled, getting extremely annoyed. With a quickness that surprised myself I tore the girl's quill form her hand and jammed it into my bag.
"Hey!" she said with a mixture of surprise and anger. "Give me back my quill!"
"No," I said simply and went back to cutting my Lela root in peace. I could feel her glaring daggers at me but ignored her.
"Accio quill," I heard her mutter and turned to see she had pulled out her wand. The quill went soaring out of my bag and into her outstretched hand. She shot me a superior look then proceeded to cover her lab with even more doodles.
The potions incident caused me to be more annoyed than usual. I stormed my way to the Gryffindor tower so I could finish my homework before dinner. I hate that kid. Absolutely despise him. Upon entering the Common Room I found it deserted except for Harry and Hermione who were once again sitting oddly close to each other.
"Ginny, what's wrong?" Hermione asked me with concern. I must look worse than I thought.
Without knowing exactly why, I told the two of them exactly what had happened. I usually don't, preferring to keep things like that to myself and my journal. Wouldn't wand to sound like a whiner. But tell them I did and felt relatively better afterwards. Especially when Harry called Malfoy a slimy git.
"And I have a feeling I'm going to be stuck with him all year," I concluded miserably, plopping down onto an armchair opposite them.
"Hmm," Hermione said, looking pensive. "Perhaps you could use this to your advantage."
"What?" Harry and I both asked at the same time.
"How?" I demanded.
"Well," she began. "He's in the same position you are since the other four don't seem to like him either. He has to work with you."
"So?" Harry asked frowning. At one point or another in my life I would have thought it cute. Now it seems rather childish. "How can that be to her advantage except that she has a git for a partner?"
"You're not seeing the bigger picture," Hermione said patiently. "Since he has no one else to work with, Ginny can do what ever she likes and he has no choice but to go back. She can screw with his mind. Bring him up to tear him down sort of speak. And he can't go running to Snape cause he's the only Slytherin and must set a good example for his house."
"Oh," Harry said with dawning. It made sense to me now as well. An interesting idea. But what would I do? I'm not exactly the manipulative type, no matter how much I wish I were. I can't even lie that well, just be overly sarcastic. And to manipulate a Slytherin, not to mention a Malfoy is much different from manipulating, say, a Hufflepuff.
I looked over to my two friends to see them looking back at me expectantly. Oh dear.
"Well?" Hermione asked.
"Has potential," I offered. The thought about it a bit. Actually, come to think of it, it had a lot of potential. Perhaps not in a big way, but enough to screw him over a bit. I began to grin. "I think I've got an idea forming . . ."
"Good," Harry said with a grin.
No one said anything after this and the silence began to get awkward. I looked around, wondering where everyone could be. I mean it's usually late at night or during a meal time that the room it this deserted. I was getting this sinking suspicion that I had walked in on something and the two of them had just been to polite to say anything. Maybe I should leave?
I was about to get up when Harry's voice made me stay.
"Ginny, we can trust you, right?" he asked me. I was so surprised by the question that I snapped my head towards him. His eyes were sincere and questioning. So were Hermione's for that matter.
"Of course," I said with a frown. "Why couldn't you?"
"I don't know," Harry said sheepishly. "It just sounded like a good way to start a conversation."
"What Harry's trying to say," Hermione said after rolling her eyes, "Is that Harry and I are going out."
"Oh," I said, a little dumbstruck by her frankness. "Since when?"
"A few weeks."
"Ok," I said slowly. This isn't awkward, now is it? "Why did you want to know if you could trust me before telling me?"
"We need to keep it a secret," Hermione said seriously.
"We'll never hear the end of it," Harry elaborated. "We don't want to see it all over the papers and stuff."
"Oh," I said again. What a vocabulary I have. This was getting odd. But I suppose the papers would have it all over the place if Harry Potter, magical world's most eligible bachelor was off the market. "Does Ron know?"
"No," Hermione said quickly. "We've been meaning to tell him. We just haven't had the right time."
"So, I'm the only one?" They both nodded. "Oh."
And so the conversation went with me saying more ten Sickel words like: Really? And: Cool. By the time I left though, I was feeling a mixture of confusion and pride. They told me first over Ron. Me, the newest edition to their group.
Well what ever the reason, I finally felt accepted. I was one of them. One of the Dream Team. But I couldn't push the nagging little voice away that said that no good will come from this.
It seems like this year is going to be a hell of a lot more interesting than the last.
AN: Well yes, that's the end of the beginning. I know it was a little long, but if I left it where I was going to leave it you would all be bored out of your minds. That's not to say that you aren't right now. And if you are, I'm sorry! Anyhoo, should it sink or swim? Reviews would be greatly appreciated!