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Chapter 1:

Weaves of Fate

          The night was young, and soon Professor Sibyll Trelawney would be forced to retire from her contemplation of the heavens in favor of some much-needed rest. She would rather, of course, remain on her rooftop and examine the patterns of the stars, read the weaves of fate. But tomorrow was to be the beginning of a new year at Hogwarts, and she would be busier than ever, under the circumstances, leaving her with less time to stargaze. Such was life.

          Above her the sky was a great sea of black with stars like fishes strewn across it. They were particularly bright now, the gems of the night, as if in anticipation of some glorious event unknown to all but the very jewels themselves. It was enough to make her wish herself a star, to shine above the dreary earth and behold the secrets of present, past, and future.

          Ah, but then she would be unable to puzzle such mysteries. Which would be the greater good? Knowing all, or the simple ability to wonder at all? She shook herself from her complex inner musings to examine the stars. They shone like the wise eyes of great wizards long-passed, but they held more beauty than answers. Once more her eyes panned the sky before she stood with a wistful sigh that would have sounded over-dramatized to anyone else.

          Tomorrow was to be the start of a new year at Hogwarts, and tomorrow was the start of a new duty besides her instruction in Divination. Yes, it would be a busy year for all, but the loss of spare time weighed most heavily – she was sure – on her mind. After all, with less time to read the signs of fate, who would warn the students of impending danger? Why, it was a wonder some of them were still breathing, especially the young Potter… she would just have to make time where she could. For the good of the students. Really, what would they do without her?

          Professor Trelawney slipped through the trap door that led into her house, shutting it heavily behind her. It was then, when there was no one to see, that a star lit in unison with another across the sky. They flared bright for a moment before lurching towards each other, stopping just as abruptly before they could even begin to cross the chasm of sky and empty stars between them. They appeared to have halted, but if one were to chart their positions he would find the stars were moving still, ever so slowly, towards each other. If they continued on this path, surely the stars would collide… or perhaps, merely cross.

          It truly was a pity Professor Trelawney retired when she did. Ah, well. Such is life.

          It was that time of year again. Platform Nine and Three-Quarters fairly bustled with students ready to board the waiting Hogwarts Express – or not so ready, as in the case of Ginny Weasley.

          God, I should have left this kind of nonsense behind with my first year, her mind growled, as she continued frantically to pile her luggage onto the nearby trolly. This was her fifth year – her fifth! – And, coincidentally, the first year she was running entirely too late for her own piece of mind. It was all Ron's fault, her harried mind assured her, in some twisted attempt of his to catch more sleep and drive her insane in the process. If there was one thing she had learned through enduring six older brothers, it was that boys slept like lumps. All of them.

Ginny tried to glare holes through her brother's back, but very probably only succeeded in frightening Harry away from her for the rest of the trip as he was the one facing her way. No matter. He probably had a part in this as well. Yes, him and maybe the twins, too – that they had graduated already and were probably doing their very best impressions of a couple of logs at that moment didn't matter. The whole world was plotting against her this morning!  

Needless to say, Ginny's mind wasn't coping well with the stress and repeatedly repressed urge to leave her bags in a heap on the platform.

A rather annoyed sound escaped her throat as her tower of luggage nearly toppled once more. It was truly a wonder that she had even made it through the gate. Without bothering to stow her luggage or strap it down, she wheeled her cart towards the open train door. There were very few people left on the platform, so weaving around them was little problem, and she was beginning to think her bags were stable enough to make it aboard the waiting locomotive. Sadly, such feelings of security are all too often followed by decidedly insecure events.

"Move it, Weasley!"

Ginny jumped at the unexpected voice, turning jerkily and momentarily forgetting her arms were still attached to the handles of her cart. She promptly remembered that little detail when the entire thing tipped over and her rather large, hard-oak trunk landed on something other than concrete. Her frustration fizzled. In near awe at what she'd done, she shakily raised her eyes to those of the speaker. A brick of lead settled in her stomach and a warmth she was only too familiar with flooded her cheeks. The slate-grey eyes of Draco Malfoy stared back at her – or rather, they stared, widened with pain and shock, at the trunk that had crushed his foot beneath it.

Rather large? Bloody hell, her entire family could probably fit inside the thing!

"Oh, hell," he managed after a drawn out moment. Though, to his credit his voice was only slightly strangled. The comment shook Ginny from her shock and she knelt hurriedly to lift the box, profusely muttering apologies while trying to hide beneath her hair – which was as red as her cheeks by now. Why Malfoy, of all people? Wasn't it enough that he tormented her brother, and in effect, her whole family? At least my headache is gone, she reminded herself dully, and now I don't feel so frustrated. Maybe Malfoy is good for something after all.

"Good God, I didn't think a Weasley could possibly own enough to fill something that size."

So much for that. Again she felt her face flush, but embarrassment had nothing to do with it.

By then she had piled her luggage uncertainly back atop the cart, and Malfoy stood nearby, his own baggage untouched beside him – a part of her dimly realized that he must have been late as well. He was currently paying more attention to brushing the imaginary dust off his clothing and testing his injured foot than he was to her. She could count the number of times they had spoken on one hand, and here he was brushing her off as if she were a piece of lint clinging to his cloak. He didn't even know her! He had probably even guessed she was a Weasley by the color of her hair.

"Listen, you ill-mannered, incons – " she was cut off by a shrill steam whistle.  Her eyes widened and before she could think about it she had taken off running with a hold on Draco's sleeve, ignoring his rather colorful protests. "Oh – we'll miss the train! Hurry!"

She flew up the steps with a natural grace, all her own, and proceeded to nearly fall flat on her face as she realized she still had her cart in tow and – simultaneously – that wheels and stairs don't mix. Before she could even begin to struggle, her entire cart rose off the steps enabling her to pull the baggage through the door. Malfoy followed her onboard, having as little trouble with his own bags as he had with hers. When did he get so strong? She wondered as the train set into motion.

"Thanks," Ginny breathed a sigh of relief. He just snorted.

"Wish I could say the same to you – oh, wait; no I don't." He headed towards the nearest compartment, dragging his luggage behind him. He seemed to favor his right foot, she noted with guilty satisfaction.

"You could at least say you're welcome," Ginny huffed, frowning at his back.

"Sure I could, Weasel," he replied, tossing his luggage into the compartment. "But the fact is, you're not." The sliding compartment door shut with a clack. A moment later it opened up again. "Oh yeah, don't touch my robes again – I don't want to get them dirty."

 What an insufferable git! Malfoy was everything Ron said he was, without a doubt. She pushed him out of her mind and left to find a compartment for herself. He really wasn't worth thinking about.

A search of the entire car turned up no room for Ginny. There were more First Years arriving at Hogwarts than there had been for a while, and the unfortunate result was less personal space for all. She stepped into the passage between cars, only to find it already occupied. A Sixth Year Prefect – the silver pin in the shape of a P on the collar of his robes identified him – motioned for her to stop with a hand. He looked as if he had swallowed a bad batch of Cockroach Clusters – actually he reminded her of Percy when something had gone wrong, minus the red hair and freckles.

"I'm sorry," his voice was crisp and curt, and for the life of her she could not recall his name. "Access to this car has been restricted, you'll have to stay where you are. A couple of First Years set off some Fillibuster's – don't know what they were supposed to do, but they managed to destroy the Snack cart; Chocolate Frogs crawlin' all over the place. I've never seen a bigger mess." The prefect shuddered distastefully. "Well, you get the picture – sorry, can't let you in."

"But there's no room back there," Ginny told him, gesturing towards the car she had come from. Why did she have to board the last car? There was nowhere else to go if she couldn't move up the train.

The Prefect shook his head. "I apologize, we're all cramped for space. You'll just have to make room for yourself."

"Alright, then. Thank you," she nodded sullenly. This had to be the worst day of her life… second worst, she corrected herself, thinking back to her First Year. She wheeled her cart down the hall and stopped in front of the door she had seen Malfoy disappear behind.

Swiftly she slid the door open, slipping in her luggage before herself and squaring her shoulders. She expected to be met with opposition, not the sound of deep, even breathing. The Slytherin was stretched out across the plush seat bolted into the compartment wall, propped up against one of his bags and looking for all the world as if a foul word had never escaped his lips.

Ginny glanced around the compartment and noted it was empty but for the two of them with a twist of her lips. Malfoy was a selfish prat… but he was an adorable one. Even if he is a cold, heartless, cruel, arrogant git at least he has one thing going for him. She leaned her bags against the door, unwilling to make a sound that would wake him. He was, after all, much more pleasant when he was sleeping.

Recently her fifteenth birthday had passed, and from Charlie she had received a magnificent new journal. Oh, she rarely used her journals as diaries, she had learned her lesson with those, but there were a number of things one could do with blank pages. Maybe she would get a chance to use it, if she could get it from her luggage quietly enough. It was a lovely thing – bound in black dragon-hide with dark green thread worked into it artfully. Certainly she wouldn't have picked it for herself, but it was nice all the same.

As she contemplated digging for her journal, the train jolted heavily and her bags were slammed into the doorway, the large trunk scraping against the doorway loudly, only catching against the doorknob momentarily before falling to the floor. Draco woke with a start, sitting up and narrowing his eyes in her direction.

"What the hell…?" he sounded only faintly groggy. "What are you doing here?"

"Ah, well…" Ginny shifted her feet uncomfortably. She felt almost guilty for waking him, and his slit-eyed stare wasn't helping her composure. "There were no seats left, except this one – " she started suddenly and turned her frown on him "– Why do you have a seat all to yourself when every other compartment is packed?"

He blinked. "Because I'm me," he said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "And you're not, and that's why you'll have to leave and find somewhere else to spread your muggle-loving filth."

"Oh, excuse me. I didn't realize you were the center of the universe," she retorted, finding a place on one of the seats.

"You must be rather daft, then, Weasel. Now get out."

"No. There's nowhere else to go, anyway."

"Do I look like I care?"

"You look like a spoiled child!"

"At least my family could afford to spoil me."

"What did you say!?"

"I said…"

And so begins the tale of our two star-crossed lovers… who argued for so long over who would stay in the compartment that the train arrived at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry before they were finished.

Neither one noticed, as an attendant opened their door to alert them of the arrival, that the lock on the door had broken under the weight of Ginny's trunk in such a way that it would be all but impossible to open the door from the inside. They would certainly notice later. Much later.

A/N: Gosh…. I don't know what to say…. Umm… please review! And don't kill me for the way I write Draco… I hope he's not too OOC… *hangs head in shame* Why did I post this…? Well, the next chapter is coming up soon… see ya.