Title: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

Author: Syn

E-mail: veruca_werewolf@hotmail.com

Fandom: Harry Potter

Setting: During OoTP

Content: Draco/Ginny UST

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I think we all know J.K. Rowling and a bunch of companies own these characters and not me.

Summary: Two Seekers and a game of Catch the Snitch.

A/N: "A man of quality isn't threatened by a woman of equality." That little quote inspired this fic. Well that and my newly discovered love of D/G. This isn't fluffy or really all that shippy, but I did throw in a bit of UST for good measure. Enjoy!

Feedback: As this is my very first HP fic, I would appreciate it.

****

The feel of cold wind ripping through her hair was a freeing sensation. Her stomach gave a leap as she soared straight up, ignoring the slight drag of her broom and squinting her eyes against the blank, merciless canvas of the overcast sky. Below her, the ground was a marshy, soggy, muddy mess that had squelched beneath her feet on the walk down from the castle. Her robes, caught in the cold, breath-stealing wind, fluttered and flapped as she spun in place and dived forward.

She could do this. She could do anything, even on an old broom and with the whole school watching her. At least that's what she was trying to tell herself. She steadied herself, ignored the breathless sensation in her lungs, and tried to imagine herself in scarlet Quidditch robes with a tiny, winged ball in her fingers.

The image gave her strength and she pivoted again, knees clenching, arms aching, the wind a cold slap on her face as she swooped into a dive, pulling up from the ground inches before collision, her feet hitting terra with a splash and a splat, mud spraying onto her robes in a messy pattern.

"Well, well. Look at the dirty little Weasel." A familiar drawl sounded. Ginny's head snapped up and her brown eyes narrowed. Draco Malfoy was standing with his arms crossed, leaning against the stands, his lips drawn into his trademark smirk. Crabbe and Goyle were noticeably absent.

"Malfoy. What are you doing out here?" Ginny said, wiping at the mud on her robes and only managing to smear it more.

"Better question, what are you doing here?" Malfoy said, leaning away from the stands. She carefully noted that he had his broom in his hands and the Snitch in the other, the tiny silver wings fluttering helplessly from between his pale fingers.

"What does it look like?" She retorted, looking around the stadium for Crabbe and Goyle, who rarely left Draco's side. If they weren't in plain sight, she had every reason to be nervous.

"Like Gryffindor has a new Seeker. And not a very good one at that. How old is that tatty piece of kindling you're riding anyway?"

Ginny glanced at her broom and blushed crimson red to match the flame of her hair. Draco gave a cruel chuckle and leaned heavily on his broom.

"Stuff it Malfoy."

"Tsk, tsk, Weasley. What would your poor mother say about that mouth of yours? Your very, very poor mother."

"Leave my mother alone!" She exclaimed, gripping the handle of her broom very tightly and contemplating swiping at him with it like a club. His pale gray eyes flicked to her clenched hands and his eyebrow rose. "What are you doing out here?"

"Came out to practice, not that its any of your business. Now that I'm here, you'd better clear off."

"No. I was here first. You leave."

"You."

"Make me." Ginny dared, lifting her chin, her mouth drawn into a tight, challenging bow. Malfoy looked slightly surprised by the move, a look of appreciation crossing his pale, pointed features for a split second before he scowled.

"You think I couldn't?"

"Well, I haven't seen Crabbe or Goyle hanging around and without them you're barely a thug. Just a selfish little boy with a smart mouth."

"Please. You think you're going to provoke me? You barely exist to me. To everyone. Does Potter pay attention to you? No. He barely sees you and he's got to know you've got a crush on him. Everyone knows it!"

Ginny actually laughed. "Please. I've been over Harry for ages. Try a new scare tactic."

Draco's brow furrowed. "Dating that Corner, right? Michael?"

"And here I thought I didn't exist to you..."

"You don't." Malfoy said quickly, licking his lips.

"Fine. I guess we'll just see how much I don't exist when I beat you at the next Quidditch match." Ginny said, not believing what she'd said. She desperately wished she knew a spell to make the mud suck her under.

"On that thing? Against my Nimbus Two-Thousand and One? You've got to be kidding me!" Malfoy scoffed, looking her over. "Besides, you're a girl."

"What does that have to do with anything?" Ginny said defensively.

"Everything. Everyone knows boys are better than girls."

"Are not! Katie, Angelina and Alicia are way better than the clumsy oafs on the Slytherin team. They've proven that time and time again." Ginny said with a vindictive smile as Malfoy's superior expression faded.

"Dumb luck, all of it. If Potter didn't bail them out every time, they wouldn't stand a chance."

"My, aren't we bitter? Still upset that Harry beats you every game?"

"Potter doesn't win, he steals." Malfoy hissed, walking forward, invading her space with a glare.

"Says the sore loser." Ginny said, looking up at him from between the loose locks of her hair.

"I'm no loser. And I'm going to prove that in our next match. With your pathetic brother as Keeper and you as Seeker, Gryffindor won't stand a chance. And no girl could ever beat me. Especially a Weasley." He added as an afterthought. Ginny's temper flared and she contemplated smashing him with her broom again.

"Really? You're so sure?"

"Absolutely, Weasel." Malfoy said, closing the distance and staring down his nose at her like she was something nasty.

"Fine. Then lets go."

"Go?" He went slightly pale, his ears pinking on the tips.

"You and me. A little game of Catch the Snitch."

"I'd win."

"Then this should be a snap for you."

He hesitated, looking her up and down once again, his gray eyes flicking back and forth as he raised the struggling Snitch still in his fist.

"Not afraid of little ole' me, are you?" Ginny said, shaking her hair out of her face in a way that made his eyes widen.

"Fine. You're on. Any girly rules? Like no inappropriate touching?" He said with a lewd grin, looking her over once more. Her eyes narrowed.

"The rules are, there are no rules." His eyes glimmered a little and she added, "Inappropriately touch anything and die." With that, she plucked the Snitch from his fingers and let it go.

It darted to and fro, silvery wings a blur, the golden ball glittering harshly against the blank white of the overcast sky. They both watched it, eyes following, narrowed slightly.

"Now close your eyes and count to ten. We've got to give it a head start." She said, turning her gaze back on Malfoy, who scoffed at her. "Close them."

"Fine." He said and closed his eyes. She did the same, counting to five before she heard a wet suck and a whoosh. Her eyes snapped open to see Malfoy zooming away on his broom.

"Malfoy you git!"

"You said there were no rules, Weasley!" He called down at her and did a loop as if taunting her from her position on the ground. She gritted her teeth, annoyed at herself--more so at him, and swung her leg over the handle of her broom.

Ginny kicked off the ground, mud sucking at her shoes before squelching free. She soared upward, the wind tugging at her robes again, bright red hair pushing back from her flushed face. Malfoy circled her easily on his Nimbus Two-Thousand and One, smirking at her as he spun in a circle, close enough to brush her hair with his outstretched hand.

She pulled away from him, not willing to let him distract her. She had a point to prove here.

Girls were just as good as boys. And she, Ginny Weasley, was much, much better than Draco Malfoy.

Her eyes cast about, searching for the Golden Snitch, which had already disappeared. Her fingers felt strange on the handle of her broom; she gripped it tight, lower lip worried between her teeth.

"I wonder where it could be?" Malfoy said, coming up beside her and leaning in close to her ear. His breath was hot on her neck, contrasting with the cold wind. A shiver ran from her ear to her toes as she turned her dark brown gaze on him.

"Draco?"

He smiled suddenly, as if caught off-guard by her use of his first name. "Yeah?"

"Duck." Her eyes narrowed into fierce slits again and that was all the warning she gave. He barely had time to duck as she zoomed upward, leaning low on the handle of her broom. The wind ached around her, turning her cheeks cold and her fingers numb as she sped upward and spun again.

Her broom didn't like the move, but she was used to its resistance and corrected for the drag. She darted forward again, heading straight for Malfoy. His eyes widened and he rolled his broom over like a barrel in a waterfall, barely avoiding getting plowed into.

Ginny shot past him and pivoted again as Malfoy corrected and spun her way.

"What are you doing? Are you mad?" He called to her as she took a deep breath.

"No rules, remember?" She taunted and darted up toward him again. His jaw clenched and she saw him lean down. Whatever he had planned, she wouldn't have enough time to avoid it. She braced herself, ready for the blow.

It came as he kicked the handle of her broom, spinning her out of control. The world rushed around her in a blur of earth and sky. Her stomach flip-flopped and she slipped off the seat, legs flailing. She gave a small scream and groped blindly at the handle of her broom.

The broom stilled its dizzying, erratic circles and she opened her eyes. She'd managed to grab a good hold of the handle and now her feet were dangling, the ground about thirty feet below her.

"Aww, did the poor wittle girl get knocked off her wittle bitty broom?" Malfoy said with a sneer as he hovered below her. She spared a glance down at him and took a deep breath.

The muscles in her arms gave a twinge as she swung her legs upward, fingers aching and her heart hammering in her chest. Her right ankle hooked over the handle of her broom and she pulled up, teeth gritted with the effort. Slowly, she managed to gain her seat again. Below her, Malfoy clapped slowly in mock appreciation.

"Nice try, Malfoy. But you're going to have to try harder than that to beat me."

"Oh, I intend to."

He rushed straight up at her and she tugged on the handle of her broom just in time to avoid getting bashed from the bottom. He rushed by her and she grabbed for the tail of his broom. The streamlined twigs caught in her hand and she clutched tight, her arm protesting as he nearly tumbled backward with the stuttering stop his broom gave.

Ginny spun in a tight circle, swinging Malfoy around by the tail of his broom.

"Oy!" He shouted, clutching as she laughed and let go. He spun around, nearly screeching to a halt about ten feet away, his knuckles white. He looked slightly green in the face. His angry gaze landed on her and she smiled broadly to see she was getting to him.

His eyes shifted around, as if he were planning something. She wasn't about to give him the chance.

"Come and get it." She called and shot forward, circling the stadium, going higher and higher. Below her, Malfoy watched her go and then followed with a determined look on his pointed face.

It started in earnest after that, diving, rolling, and bumping. He would try and unseat her, using his weight to lean in tight, his hands reaching for the handle of her broom. She would use her size to her advantage, slipping through his fingers with ease. Even though his broom was much superior to her older model, she could use his speed against him too. He couldn't stop and turn around toward her in time to avoid whatever she was bringing up behind him.

Neither one of them seemed concerned about the Snitch, though in truth, they were both looking around as they zoomed over the pitch, ducking and rolling, shoulders bumping.

"Give it up, Ginny. I'm just too good." Malfoy grunted, shouldering her out of the way. She gave him a sidelong look at the sound of her name and pulled up flush with him. They were so close together that a flaming lock of her hair was licking at his face.

"I'm still here, aren't I?" She retorted with a grimace, looping her ankle around his calf. His eyes widened and he gave a funny little squeak.

"What--?"

But his question was thrown out the window as Ginny, her ankle securely around his calf, flipped him over completely. He tumbled end from end across the sky and came perilously close to losing his seat much as she had. His legs were hooked around the broom though and he leaned back upward, balancing with a cat-like ease.

He rolled his shoulders and looked at her with genuine appreciation. The look faded in an instant though; his eyes narrowed and focused just to the right of her. Ginny drew in a sharp breath and looked over her shoulder.

The Golden Snitch was darting in small circles, as if it were interested in what they were doing and had come to investigate. It glinted tauntingly in the fading sunlight, wings a blur against the graying sky.

Excitement rushed in her veins and she immediately spun around, knowing Malfoy's speed would get him there quicker. The wind of his passing blew her hair out in a mad cyclone and she swore under her breath, urging her broomstick after him.

The Snitch, knowing the chase was on, fluttered up and down, just out of reach of Malfoy's outstretched fingers. Sweat rolled down his face, blond locks falling against his cheek as the slicked back mass of his hair was tortured by the wind. Malfoy had to dive again to catch up with the tiny golden ball. Ginny trailed slightly behind, tired and sweating too.

Now was the moment of truth. She'd have to pull out all the stops.

She dived, coming below Malfoy and bending over her broomstick. She smashed into Malfoy from below, knocking him off course. She righted again and dashed after the Snitch, which was still fluttering madly out of reach.

Malfoy wasn't easily put off; he righted with a frustrated growl and sped off, bumping her again. The Snitch darted upward.

They were together, her hair whipping his face unmercilessly so that all he saw were slashes of bloody red and the glint of gold that was the Snitch.

"Its mine." He snarled, knocking her outstretched hand away. She retaliated, sharp, bony elbow sinking into his ribs; Fred had taught her that. Malfoy gave a sharp hiss of pain and grabbed her wrist, bending it back until she cried out, eyes watering but not daring to take them off the Snitch. "You like playing a man's game now, Weasley?"

Ginny didn't answer. She was too busy trying to reach the Snitch. Her fingers were inches away, as were Malfoy's. Neck and neck, knee to knee, they dived together as the Snitch gave a sickening lurch toward the ground.

The muddy, wet ground rushed up at them, faster and faster as they rocketed downward. Ginny's fingers trembled, but she didn't pull up--couldn't pull up. She reached, knocking Malfoy's outstretched hand away again, felt the soft caress of tiny feathers and then--

Something slammed into her middle, knocking the breath out of her and making her side explode with pain. The something landed completely on her and she flailed for a grip on her broom and found none. She tumbled sideways, the heavy something blinding her and taking her down to the ground.

She landed on her back, her mind jarred and her body sinking into the wet mire, legs akimbo and a very heavy something covering her like a wet, suffocating blanket. She gasped for breath and managed to open the eye that wasn't covered by her hair.

Draco Malfoy's face was inches from hers, covered in mud and sweat. He'd jumped on her and knocked off her off her broom, taking himself with her. Now they were lying in the mud, his feet tangled with hers and his fingers twisted in her hair. His mouth was open and he was gasping hard.

He lifted his head off her chest and caught her shocked gaze. A slow smile spread over his features and Ginny's stomach gave a sudden lurch. She struggled beneath him, realizing one of her hands was caught between their bodies.

"See, Weasley? I told you I was better." Malfoy gasped, a trickle of sweat rolling off the end of his nose and hitting her lips.

"You didn't catch the Snitch, though." She said, licking her lips and lifting her head out of the mud.

"And neither did you." Malfoy said, twitching above her, his knee pressing into her inner thigh. She swallowed hard and tried to move out from beneath him. He bit his lip slightly at the movement.

"I touched it though. I felt the wings on my fingers."

"Almost isn't close enough, girl. You gotta grab it and keep it or you're nothing." Malfoy said, fire in his eyes; a reflection of her hair.

"Why did you tackle me? You could have still gotten the Snitch, you know." Ginny sat up, taking him with her, her hand on his chest. He sat back in the mud and looked her over as she let go of his robes. They were both completely covered in darkish mud and he seemed to resent the fact that they had something in common.

"I was proving a point."

"What point is that?" He didn't say anything as he got up and pointedly didn't help her. She climbed to her feet and found her broomstick hovering a few feet away, as if it were an obedient dog waiting for her patiently. Malfoy's broom was on the ground beside them, the gleaming handle covered in mud like its owner.

Malfoy stooped down and picked up his broomstick, slinging it over his shoulders and hooking his wrists on the handle. He looked her over in that maddening way that made her think he was looking at her much deeper than physically. She flipped her wet, mud-clumped hair out of her face again and saw Malfoy's eyes widen ever so slightly.

"Well?" Ginny frowned.

"You'll do. I guess." He said, like it had taken an army to pull it out of him. He gave her an imperious smile and turned on his heel, swooping out of the stadium like a ghost.

Ginny stood rooted to the spot, her stomach an uncomfortable, clenched knot. She wasn't quite sure what had just happened, but she knew she'd definitely learned something. About Malfoy and about herself. Malfoy had accepted her as an equal, as much as he ever would. She'd proven to him and to herself that she could play with the boys and wasn't afraid of taking the hits required.

She wasn't as good a player yet, but that would come with time and practice. For now, she knew that she could do it. Her nervousness faded and she watched the tiny dark speck that was Malfoy wend its way toward the castle. He stopped on the steps and turned around, watching her in the distance, barely visible inside the stadium.

Ginny watched him for a few minutes before he finally walked inside, leaving her alone in the gathering gloom, the Quidditch stadium dark and empty. A cold wind blew up and she took a deep breath, then pulled out her wand.

"Accio, Snitch!" She said and held out her hand as the Snitch stopped in mid-flight and came hurtling toward her. She caught it and clenched her fingers around it. "Grab it and keep it or you're nothing..." She whispered, watching the wings flutter before drooping and wrapping back around the golden ball again.

Ginny smiled and held on tight, then followed in Malfoy's footsteps, the Snitch in her fingers and confidence in her step.

(end)

****