Title: Too Many Chains Author: Ama Pairings: Read and find out... Rating: PG-13 Note: This story is narrated from three points of view: Draco's, Harry's, and Ginny's. A line of asterisks will appear when the point of view changes.

Disclaimer: All characters and locations within this story are the property of J.K. Rowling. The plot is mine.

********
Running down the empty corridor, I trembled as I heard the footsteps of my pursuer. I couldn't let him catch me! Glancing behind me, I saw him weaving through the crowds of people, trying to get them to move, but they stood in his way. Turning back, I continued trotting down the corridor, looking for an escape from his pursuit, With tears streaming down my face, I spotted an open doorway, and darted in, closing the door behind me. I couldn't let him catch me crying. However, I knew that I was not safe hiding forever. He was a prefect, and could go anywhere he wished. Terrified that he would find me here, I tried to muffle my sobs. They complained in my throat, not wishing to be silenced. I quelled their rebellion, and silently listened for noises in the hall.

His shoes, labeled with an expensive brand name, were silent. No squeaks came from those leather soles, unlike shoes of the brands my family bought. His robes produced only a sigh, but it was enough to mark his location in my mind. He was about 50 yards away from the empty closet I was hidden in. I moved closer to the doorway, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. I could see him, just barely, but I could see him. He looked frantic, moving this way and that, questioning those around him. "Have you seen Ginny? Do you know where she went?" Why was he so intent on finding me? He looked worried, and I began to wonder what was urgent enough for Malfoy to talk to me. I backed away slowly from the door, pondering his actions. Why would he want to talk to me: poor little Ginny Weasley? No one cared about me.

I decided to move back to the door, to see if I could gain any more information by watching his actions. I peered through the crack in the doorway, and suddenly grew worried. He was nowhere to be seen! Did he suddenly decide that I wasn't worth his time? But he looked so worried. Perhaps he went to search for me somewhere else.

But then a gray eye suddenly stared back at me from the other side of the doorway. Caught by surprise, I yelped. Realizing what I had done, I scurried away from the door, my hands frantically searching for a way out. I tripped, over a box on the floor, and yelped again. I was stuck, and the door was opening...

********
I found the room she was hiding in. Listening closely, I could hear her muffled sobs. Why was she crying? Leaning forward, I peered through the door. Staring back at me was a girl with red, stringy hair. Her face was red and puffy, due to her crying. And it was marked with tear streaks and mud. What had happened to her? I had been chasing her because Dumbledore sent me to tell her something, but she was running when I first saw her. What had happened to make her so upset? I decided to talk to her to find out what was wrong. Leaning in, I turned the door handle. She had started stumbling back when she realized I was coming in, and looking at her now, I could see that she had tripped, over a box, no less.

As I opened the door further, the light slowly brightened, revealing the sparkling tears rolling down her face, like little diamonds of emotion. Her quiet sobs were muffled. She was trying to hide her tears! When she realized that I could see her face, wet with grief, she turned, trying to hide her face. As she turned, her eyes pleaded for me to keep quiet, to say nothing of her display of emotion. As tempted as I was to make some snide remark, the look on her face caused me to pause. It broke my heart.

As soon as the twinge in my heart came, I grew angry with myself. What would my father say if he knew what I was feeling? She was my enemy. Her family would do anything to disgrace mine. The Weasleys would never be allies of the Malfoys. My anger grew. I became angry at her for making me feel this way, and I was angry at myself for feeling sorry for this worthless creature, bred from the adversaries of my family.

From the shadows of the room, a small, dejected voice suddenly asked, "What do you want, Malfoy?" As my anger grew, I looked at this wretched girl, and remembered my message from the Muggle-lover.

"What do I want? What do I want? I want to be gone from this room and return to visiting with my friends, so I can quit looking at your ugly face. But Dumbledore asked me to give you a message."

"You have no hope, Malfoy. Why don't you go away and quit insulting those that don't need to hear it?"

"Why don't I leave, you ask? I won't leave because I love watching you wallowing in despair, hoping for me to quit making you uncomfortable. And I still haven't given you Dumbledore's message. He wants you to report to his office tomorrow morning, before classes begin. He has to talk to you about something. God knows why someone would want to talk to you. All you do is sit around and cry about things all day." With that remark made, I turned curtly and left the room. As I walked down the corridor, I could hear her yell back: "Yeah, well, go eat cow manure, Malfoy!" Satisfied, I smirked as I walked briskly down the hall.

********
That jerk Malfoy! I knew he was up to no good, and yet I still spoke to him. What is wrong with me? I shouldn't have spoken to him. I should have stayed quiet until he left the room. But it would have been no use. He could see me, and he knew I was there. He would have spoken to me eventually, and Malfoy can't say anything without also insulting the person he's speaking to.

But...that look on his face. Before I talked to him. He looked...almost sad. It made me want to reach up there, hug him, and comfort him. Why? I've never liked Malfoy. I shouldn't like Malfoy. But that look...

What are you thinking, Virginia Weasley? You like Harry. You've always liked Harry. Why stop now? Because that look on Malfoy's face...it was enough to make you love him...

********
I thought I was proud of myself, but now, thinking about that beautiful face, framed with red, and lined with diamond emotions...I'm not so sure I should be proud of hurting her like that. She looks like an angel...

Stop it, Malfoy, a voice in my head commanded. You shouldn't be feeling this way. What would your father think? It's true; my father would hate me if I let him know I loved this girl.

With the realization of this emotion, I commanded my heart to quit beating so quickly. I pushed thoughts of the Weasley Angel to the back of my mind, and concentrated on those around me. Leaning back in my chair so that two legs rose off the ground, I struggled to maintain balance while conversing with my friends.

Glancing around the group of people sitting in the Slytherin Common Room, I took note of all that were with me. Pansy was sitting across from me, stealing quick looks at my face every few moments and then quickly turning away, trying to hide the blush that rose in her cheeks. Everyone knew she liked me, and now they think I like her, ever since my father made me take her to the Yule Ball last Christmas. He felt that she was "a lady well worth my time." Her family may be rich, and of a noble house, but Pansy Parkinson is no lady.

Seated to the left of Pansy was a girl with much more grace and charisma than Pansy would ever have. She was more the type of person I would go out with: slender, tall, and she had the shape of a model. Even Gryffindor boys who would never date a Slytherin couldn't help but let their jaws drop whenever Blaise Zabini walks by. And most people knew she liked the "infamous" Draco Malfoy, but she would never let it show. She liked to play hard to get, and she did a pretty good job of it, too. God knows I've tried to get her several times, too, but she always pushes me away with a smirk worthy of a Malfoy.

Just for the two girls, I reached up and ran my fingers through my hair, knowing it would make them drool all over the place. Well, it worked for Pansy, but Zabini kept her cool. She just grinned at me and turned to talk to the person on my right, which was that idiot, Crabbe.

Crabbe is the sort of person with a lot of brawn, but absolutely no brain. It gets him into trouble sometimes, like the time that he and that other idiot, Goyle, were knocked unconscious by Miss Hermione Granger's Sleeping Draught back in second year. Two cupcakes they found floating in the corridors were filled with the Draught, and they couldn't resist taking them. I found them later, in one of Filch's closets. They were missing most of their clothes, and they didn't know what happened. I had to drag them back to the dorms and find new clothes for them. Lucky me.

Goyle was sitting on my left. He has a little bit more brain than Crabbe, but it's still not enough. I would wonder how they passed any of their classes, except for the fact that I do all their work. Hermione's not the only one that's really smart around here. She just shows it more.

Sighing at my worthless little group of friends, my mind wandered back to the gorgeous girl I saw sitting in a room, crying her eyes out. What had happened to make her cry? I vowed then and there to find out what had troubled her, and to avenge her pain...

********
Now back in the Gryffindor common room, I thought over the events that occurred in the last hour. It was an hour with enough misfortune to last for a week. Hopefully, good luck would return to me soon.

Glancing across the circular Gryffindor common room, I quietly observed the group of people that I wished I could be a part of. Hermione sat at the corner of a long table, her books piled up around her, each open to a page marked with information she was using for her essay. Her quill scratched softly on a piece of parchment, which was already two feet long, and yet she still scribbled away on the paper. From a conversation I overheard earlier at dinner, the assignment was only a six-inch essay on the various uses of chicken livers in potions. I hoped she would quit soon. Gryffindor certainly doesn't need to lose more points, and she was likely to earn them for being an over-achiever.

Hermione is the sort of person any girl should be jealous of. She is tall, though not as tall as Ron, thin, and has the most beautiful hair: long, brown, and curly. Not only is she beautiful, but she has brains, too. Hermione can perform very complicated spells that even the smartest Ravenclaw cannot achieve. Although she doesn't know it, many of the guys at Hogwarts cannot wait for the chance to ask her out. I know personally that my brother Ron has fallen head-over-heels for her, and she is oblivious to that fact, no matter how much he stutters and shows-off around her.

Glancing over at Ron, I see that he is trying to copy his homework off of Hermione's. The firelight glints off of his red hair as he peers over the top of the books to see what Hermione is writing.

"Jeez, Hermione!" I hear him exclaim. "Do you want Snape to take points off Gryffindor? He already thinks of you as an over-achiever, and then you go and prove him right when you do something like this!"

"Ease off it, Ron," Harry complains in an exasperated, tired tone. "Can't you see that she's not doing homework for Snape? She's writing a letter to Krum." Harry glanced over at Ron to see the effect of his comment, and it was clear that Ron was embarrassed. His ears turned redder than his hair.

"Sorry, Hermione," Ron whispered guiltily. However, Hermione wasn't even paying attention to the two boys, and it was apparent that she wasn't writing to Krum. What, indeed, could she be doing?

Curious, I stood up, and began to walk over to the table where the three friends were sitting. As I walked closer, though, I glanced over at Harry, and stopped, quite suddenly. I hadn't noticed Harry before, and observing him closely, I realized that Harry was crying. No one else noticed it because they were too caught up in their work. Guilt suddenly washed over me as I watched Harry, not because I had done something to make him cry, but because I had considered the possibility of liking Draco. Now I realized that I couldn't like Draco. All I wanted to do was to hug Harry, comfort him, and make him forget whatever it was that made him cry. I can't like Draco. Not now. Not ever.

********
I had seen them. After I saw Ginny running off, crying, I had to follow her and see what was wrong. Stumbling after her in the corridor, I ran past the Great Hall, where dinner was just ending. Caught in the great flood of people, I lost sight of her small form running away. I moved out of the crowd, leaning against the wall next to the doors to the Great Hall. Standing on tiptoe so that I could see where she ran to, I noticed a figure dart after her. Curious as to who could be following her, I stretched as tall as I could, watching the person running after her. A disgusting lump formed in my stomach as I recognized the person: silver-blonde hair, pale skin, thin figure, name-brand shoes, and robes trimmed in green. It could only be one person, and that person was the one I hated most.

As I lost sight of my quarry, and as fury filled my mind, I scanned the corridor for a quick route through the crowd. Watching the throng thin out, I made my move as soon as there was a space for me to get through. I raced down the hallway, running into Angelina as I sped by. I heard her yell at me as I continued down the corridor, but I soon lost sound of her. The only thing I could concentrate on was Ginny, and the danger she might be in.

Anger building in my mind, I slammed open any door I came to, calling out her name, searching for her. When I heard no response, I hurried on, searching for where she could be. Soon, my search came to an end. I stood in the hallway, breathless, as Malfoy sauntered past me, with a smirk on his face. I just knew that something had happened between them, and I couldn't bear the thought. Malfoy preyed on girls just like Ginny, those who needed attention. I just wished I had realized how much I liked her before Malfoy got a hold of her. Now all he would do would be to break her heart, and I couldn't bear the thought of Ginny, my precious Ginny, falling prey to a monster like him.

Ginny likes Malfoy. As the thought entered my head, my eyes filled with tears, and I ran back to Gryffindor, ignoring the cries of those in the hallway. I rushed back to my dormitory, and flopped on the bed, leaving Seamus and Dean, confused, in my wake.

********
I have to say that watching Potter streak across the hallway and up the stairs to Gryffindor Tower with tears on his face brightened my mood tremendously. It definitely helped me get my mind off of her. Knowing that he was upset about something made my day, and I knew that it was something I could tease him about later on. I can just see the look on his face if I mention to him that I saw him cry. That pathetic little freak. I can't wait to make his life a living hell.

********
As I make my way down to breakfast this morning, the words just keep repeating in my head. Ginny likes Malfoy...Ginny likes Malfoy. No matter what I do to get her out of my mind, the thoughts just keep coming, smugly making my heart wrench every time the phrase is repeated. Ginny like Malfoy...Ginny likes Malfoy...Ginny likes Malfoy.

Hermione and Ron can tell something is wrong. They keep asking me over and over again, "Harry, are you alright?" My life feels like a broken record as it keeps repeating the same events over and over and over again. Ginny likes Malfoy..."Harry, are you alright?"...Ginny likes Malfoy...Ginny likes Malfoy..."Harry are you alright?"

I glance over at Ginny. My heart still wants to believe that she doesn't like Malfoy, even though my mind keeps repeating it – Ginny likes Malfoy...Ginny likes Malfoy. Watching her glorious head bob up and down as she talks to her friend, my heart wrenches in my chest, causing pain unlike anything else I've known. Does she still like me? Could she still like me? What have I ever done to show her how glad I am that she is there for me? Can I tell her how I feel?

No longer wanting to eat due to the sickness in my stomach, I get up and head towards my first class. Right now, Potions is sounding like more fun than thinking about Ginny. Examining my feelings, I realize that I've always taken Ginny for granted. She's always been there, and I've always treated her like dirt. Suddenly, I realize that I don't deserve her. She should be going out with Malfoy. He could treat her better than I can.

Aware of this new realization, I head towards Potions feeling somewhat relieved and more cheerful, although the phrase continuously repeats itself in my head. Ginny likes Malfoy...Ginny likes Malfoy...Ginny likes Malfoy.

Then I walk into the classroom, and Malfoy is standing there, looking smug. His two cronies stand behind him, with equal looks of stupidity and smugness on their faces. Blaise Zabini and Pansy Parkinson watch from the corner, whispering about how wonderful Draco is. My cheerful feeling leaves, and is replaced with a feeling of dread. GINNY LIKES MALFOY, my mind screams at me.

********
Seeing Potter scared stiff when he walked into Snape's dungeon, I made eye contact with him, and smirked. Despite his look of absolute horror, he froze, his lively green eyes locked on mine, just daring me to say something. I recognized that look of defiance on his face; it was the same as Ginny's when I found her crying in the empty classroom. Seeing the expression that had played over and over in my mind on the face of someone so close to Ginny made me stop for a second. My heart thudded in my chest as I thought about that scared, tear-stained little girl, and I quickly diverted my eyes, so that Potter could not see my weakness. He must never know it.

As my mind contemplated these confusing matters, I returned my attention to the little "hero" standing in front of me. I could see that he had spent the night crying. Using this bit of knowledge to humiliate Potter would be quite enjoyable, and I braced myself to do so.

********
"Hey, Pothead! Looks like you've had a bad night! What were you doing, crying about your mommy? You know, she's been dead a long time. I would think you'd've known that by now!"

As Pansy shrieks in delight, and while Blaise turns her head towards me and snickers, something snaps in my mind. While Malfoy is laughing his head off, I race towards Malfoy, rage building in my mind. I can't control myself, and the next thing I know, I'm punching and kicking Malfoy as hard as I can. Crabbe and Goyle jump me, and I'm trapped underneath their weight.

But so is Malfoy. He screams from under me, "Geroff! Geroff!" although no one can understand a word he's saying. Suddenly, the room grows quiet, as the door from Snape's office slams open. I can't see him, but I imagine him standing there, looking dumbfounded and horribly angry, his greasy hair hanging from his face like bits of black yarn. He yells at the top of his lungs, and the sound reverberates through the classroom, so that his words are repeated. "Malfoy! Crabbe! Goyle! Report to me after class! POTTER! A WORD, PLEASE!!!!"

Snape leads me out the door, up the stairs, through the twisting corridors, and eventually to Professor McGonagall's classroom, where she is teaching her class of seventh year students. Snape charges into the room, dragging Harry along with him. Professor McGonagall, startled, looks up, questioning Snape's presence in her classroom. Utterly humiliated, I look pleadingly at McGonagall, who gives me a look of utter annoyance. From the back of the classroom, I hear Fred, George, and Lee snickering, and Fred yells, "Oy, Harry! What'd you do this time?" Professor McGonagall silences them with her look, and returns her attention to Snape.

"Yes, Professor, what can I help you with?"

"McGonagall...Potter...has...causing trouble...can't deal...with it...ANYMORE!!"

Agitated, McGonagall looks at Snape, and says, "Professor, the only thing I can do is punish the boy, which you also can do. I would sentence him to a week's detentions, but you are free to do with him what you will. Harry, I wouldn't argue with Snape if I were you."

Nodding, I let Snape drag me out of the classroom and back to his dungeon. As we leave the room, I hear George yell, "Good one, Harry!" and then I hear McGonagall chastise him for encouraging me.

Returning to the classroom, Malfoy smirks at me as Snape shoves me into my chair, and stalks to the front of the classroom. I sneer at him, and look at my notebook, while I think about what got me into trouble. Ginny likes Malfoy.

********
Glancing over at Harry every few minutes, I notice that he has sunken lower and lower in his seat. The fact that Snape is ignoring him completely is sort of disappointing; I usually get a thrill out of seeing Potter tortured by my favorite teacher. Of course, Potter has landed himself detention, probably for a month at least, because he made Snape mad. Of course, I have detention, too, because fighting with me was what got Harry in trouble in the first place.

Realizing how this news would affect my father, I suddenly become very anxious. Whatever happens, I can't let him find out! Of course, he might be glad that I upset Potter, but he won't be glad I got into trouble doing it. Maybe I can talk to Snape after class...

********
Oh, sure...Malfoy got off completely. He is Snape's favorite student, after all. And then there's me. Snape hates me because I am my father's son. Sure, I've done some things that could've made him mad, but so has everyone. Why do I get blamed for everything someone else does?

Snape was extremely angry with me. I got off with a month's worth of detentions, and I received failing marks in his class for a week. And as luck would have it, our midterm is this week, so I get a zero on it without even trying! I will have to work extremely hard to pass this class now.

Thinking back over the events leading up to my permanent F in Potions, I realize something. My friends didn't even try to help me when Malfoy started picking on me. They didn't even try to stop him. What kind of friends do I have?

********
News travels quickly around Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. By lunchtime, everyone knew about Harry's fight with Malfoy. Harry's friends from the other Houses kept dropping by the Gryffindor table to congratulate him, to sympathize with him, and to wish him luck with Snape's detentions.

Glancing at the staff table, I scanned the faces of my favorite teachers, searching for a sign that they know what's going on. Professor Sprout, with her short, chubby little face and bright searching eyes, was chatting animatedly with Professor McGonagall, who grinned, her wizened face glowing with laughter. Professor Trelawney looked like an insect, as always, but today her eyes appeared unfocused and distracted. She was staring quietly into space, while the teachers and students around her ignored her completely.

Then my eyes traveled back to the center of the table, where, placed a little higher than the rest of the teachers, sat our Headmaster, Professor Dumbledore. He, too, appeared distracted. Tracing his gaze, my eyes came to rest on Harry. Satisfied that one of the teachers knows and cares, I focused my attention on Harry.

Harry, with his hair mussed and his clothes still rumpled from the fight, was slumping in his chair, staring at his food in a sort-of stupor. Every time someone came to shake his hand or slap him on the back, he awoke from his daze just enough to murmur, "Yeah...thanks," and return to staring mindlessly at his food. I knew something more than the fight was bothering him. Quelling the urge to get up and go talk to him, I turned my head in the other direction.

At that moment, Draco Malfoy walked in through the great oak doors leading to the Great Hall. The varnish on the oak reflected his figure many times, due to the enchanting patterns carved into its surface. I watched him glide assuredly over to the Slytherin table, where he squeezed into a seat between Pansy and Blaise. The smile on his face as he looked at each of the girls in turn made me quiver. I knew he would never like me, but then I wondered, why would I want him to?

Glancing back at Harry, I had to stop and gaze in awe at the expression on his face. It had changed completely over the course of a few minutes. It had been apathetic, now it was covered in an expression of horror and distaste. He kept glancing, astonished, from me to Malfoy, and back again. His face drained, and it looked as though there was steam coming from his ears. He was becoming outraged, while the humdrum drone of everyday occurrences continued around him.

It dawned on me now what had been bothering him for the last 24 hours. As he glanced once more at Malfoy, I saw something snap behind his eyes, and he suddenly sprang up, furious, and threw himself out of the Great Hall, slamming the great, oaken doors as he clambered up the stairs.

The Great Hall was suddenly silent, everyone turned to face the doors. Professor Dumbledore was standing, while Professor Sprout and Professor McGonagall stared in frustration. Only two people in the room appeared pleased, and they were Professor Snape, and Draco Malfoy.

Turning my attention to the other Gryffindor, I noticed that they were all looking at me. Hermione and Ron gaped, their mouths open in shock. Thoroughly peeved, I hurriedly gathered my belongings and rushed out into the hall, leaving everyone staring after me as I left the room.

********
"Harry! Wait! Please?" Her voice was desperate, but I couldn't stop and talk to her. She had broken my heart, and I didn't want to talk.

Unfortunately, my body resisted me, and I slowed, wiping the tears from my eyes before I turned to face her. She looked worried, and her eyes pleaded with me. She watched me carefully, waiting for me to say something, to do anything. I sighed helplessly, and she eased. Looking around her, she turned, and sat on the step at my feet. Then she looked at me, and motioned for me to sit down beside her.

Don't do it. I willed my body to turn and run away, but I sat, captivated by her willingness to talk. Didn't she know I knew her secret?

"Harry, we need to talk," she whispered softly. Boy, do we, I thought as I stared blankly at my hands. "Harry, I know what you're thinking. You think I like Malfoy. I know you do. You've been angry ever since you saw Malfoy emerge from the closet that I had been in. And I don't know what's been going through your mind, but I can assure you it didn't happen. How could I like Malfoy, when the person I've always liked has been you?"

Shocked, I quit staring at my hands blankly, and changed to staring at her blankly. She giggled, and I realized how I must look. Glancing down at my disheveled clothes, I began desperately trying to flatten my hair, which caused her to laugh more. Annoyed, I glanced at her huffily, and she broke out into this great peal of laughter.

I became very angry, and turned to scold her, but she put her finger to her lips, and leaned in slowly. Realizing what was about to happen, I closed my eyes, and wrapped my arm around her gently. As my eyes opened, I caught a glimpse of her beautiful eyes just before I felt her soft lips touch mine...

********
I knew as soon as I walked into the room that her eyes were following my every move. Growing self-conscious, I put on my best face and strode pompously over to the Slytherin table. I chose to sit, not in my normal seat, but in the seat between Blaise and Pansy. I threw one arm over each of the girls, and smirked charmingly at them. I knew they would not protest. I just hoped that I could keep my worry from showing in my eyes.

My worry, you ask? What worry? Well, I was worried. I was worried about my emotions: how could I be feeling such things about a Weasley? I was worried about my father: how would he respond if he found out? And I was worried about Ginny. Did she know I felt these things for her? Would she even care if she did know? After all, she likes Potter. She'll always like Potter.

I realized as I was thinking that I was letting my emotions show. I quickly returned my attention to the girls sitting next to me. Grinning at each of them, I turned to look over at Ginny. When I did, however, I saw her looking at me. I quickly averted my eyes, but then had to look up again when I heard someone slam their arms down hard on the Gryffindor table. Pansy jumped. Blaise looked up, coolly startled. My eyes leaped to the Gryffindor table. I caught sight of Potter storming out of the Great Hall, slamming the doors behind him as he went.

Stunned, I glanced up at the staff table. Snape was staring at the door smugly, while the other teachers gaped at the outrageous display of emotion. As they looked out the door, I heard the sound of someone getting up in the now silent room. Glancing back over at the Gryffindor table, I saw Ginny sheepishly dart out of the Great Hall, chasing after Potter.

It was too much. I had to find out what happened. I waited a few minutes for everyone to return to eating their suppers, and then I got up, leaving Pansy and Blaise looking disappointed as I distractedly muttered that I had to go finish some homework. I stealthily made my way out of the Great Hall, and headed off towards Gryffindor Tower.

Hearing voices, I slowed, and walked cautiously, listening to the conversation. When I heard giggling, I knew it was Ginny, and I stopped to listen closely. I heard her whisper, "...but I can assure you it didn't happen. How could I like Malfoy, when the person I've always liked has been you?"

That comment threw me off, and before I knew what was happening, I found myself slamming through the door, angry at Ginny, and angry with myself. As soon as I was through the door, I knew I shouldn't have come. There she was, that beautiful, redheaded little girl, kissing my worst enemy. The sound of the door made them jump, and they turned to face me, trying to hide the fact that something had been happening, thinking I was a teacher. When they saw that it was me, their faces twisted into contorted expressions of shock and horror.

I stood there, while they sat in stunned silence for a few moments. After a while, I knew that I should say something, but no taunts or jabs came to my mind. All I could think was, that could've been me. Horror arose in my mind at that thought and I rushed to leave, but Potter stopped me, speaking in a tone so low it could barely be heard.

"Malfoy, please don't say anything? To anybody."

I nodded in agreement, and left, stunned by the sight I had just witnessed. As I left the room, I glanced back to see the expression on Ginny's face. She looked worried, and anxious. I wanted to know what was going through her mind, but I didn't ask. I didn't want to hear her say she liked Potter, even though I knew it was true. I left, quietly, morosely, and trudged back toward the dungeon.

Passing Peeves in the hallway, I plodded slowly by while Peeves hurled insults at my receding back.

********
What was I thinking? This can't be happening, not to me. Why didn't I just go with my instinct? I shouldn't have told Harry how I felt. I don't even know anymore if that is how I feel.

As you can guess, Malfoy discovered us. He walked in just as Harry put his arm around me to draw me closer to him. Why did it have to happen this way? It's not how I want to remember my first kiss with Harry. I want to remember it the way most other girls do. They describe their first kisses as warm, and electrifying, and exciting. All I will ever remember is that Malfoy walked in on us, and that I felt bad because I wasn't kissing Malfoy.

Not that I want Malfoy instead of Harry. Harry was perfect. His kiss was warm, and electrifying, and exciting. I felt something happening between us, and I knew that it was right, and good. We fit together. And I'm sure that he felt it, too.

So why can't I get Malfoy out of my mind?

********
Malfoy walked in on us. Malfoy. Why did it have to happen to me? Why?

It was good. It was perfect. She was perfect. It was wonderful. It felt right. My insides are jumping around like crazy right now. I'm so excited about tonight. I feel like standing on the top of the tallest tower of Hogwarts and screaming at the world: GINNY DOESN"T LIKE MALFOY! SHE LIKES ME!

But then, after Malfoy walked in, she was nervous, and the night was ruined. In fact, she looked like she felt sorry for someone. For Malfoy. Does she like him?

********
Sitting in my room in Gryffindor Tower, I contemplated the events of the night. It was wonderful, I realize as I lay down, softly stroking Crookshanks, who has come to visit me since he can't find Hermione. Why would I feel something for Malfoy? Harry was perfect. And he was perfect.

I remember him kissing me, and it was like magic. Not the sort of magic that can be performed with a wand, but the sort of magic that even Muggles can do. As I remember him putting his arm around me, shivers run down my spine, and all I can think about is the way it felt to finally kiss Harry. Harry, who I've been dreaming of since I first met him five years ago at the railway station. Looking back on the image of him then, I begin to giggle as I realize how ridiculous I must have looked.

It was his first year to attend Hogwarts. I was with my mother, escorting my brothers to the train station. Harry was standing there, staring at the column between platforms 9 and 10, looking extremely confused as each of my brothers passed through the barrier. It was my brother Ron's first time, too, and my mother helped him and Harry figure out how to get through the barrier to Platform 9¾.

As I stood looking at him, I gradually fell in love with this wizard who had no idea who he was. His fresh, green eyes, and his jet-black hair were captivating, and I watched the sun shine on his glasses, making his eyes seem even more vivid and alive.

As he noticed that I was watching him, he grinned at me sheepishly, and then ran off towards the column, looking afraid and amazed at the same time. After he had gone through, Mum ushered me along after him, to insure that they had made it through okay. As I whirled across space onto Platform 9¾, I caught another glimpse of him as he got onto the scarlet train, following my brother Ron. I waved to them as the train chugged away, and I silently began to count the minutes until I would see them again, when they returned from Hogwarts next summer.

Sighing happily, I rolled over, causing Crookshanks to squeal and jump off the bed, snarling at me as he ran out the door to find Hermione. The cat's opinion did not decrease my elation, and I stood up, pulling on my pajamas. Then I tucked myself into bed, and recalled the feeling I had as Harry pulled me closer to him. Sighing contentedly, I drifted to sleep.

********
Ginny's body was the softest, warmest thing I had ever held on to. She was perfect, with hair that shone like the morning sun, and bright, liquid eyes that were filled with laughter and emotion. And when she laughed, I forgot everything that troubled me. She was healing, and I needed her. But she was Harry's. She's always been Harry's. She always will be Harry's. I can't stand it. Why him? Why not me? I need her, but all I have is Pansy. I am doomed.

I need Ginny. I need her.

********
The sun greeted me unkindly the morning after my night with Ginny. I woke up, blinking, as the sun shone through the window into my face. I looked around, and realized that everyone in my dorm had already left. I glanced at my clock, and, unluckily for me, discovered that it was 10:00 a.m., and I had missed Potions. Not only had I missed Potions, but I was late for Defense Against the Dark Arts, my favorite class. Wondering where the time had gone, I quickly dressed and hurried to my classroom.

I entered the room, which was perfectly quiet, and my stomach growled loudly. Professor Dumbledore, who had replaced the previous DADA teacher when the school could not find a replacement, looked up and said. "Ah, Harry. I see you have decided to join us today. Please take your seat, and begin working on the assignment, which is written on the board."

I nodded, and scanned the room for an empty seat. Ron was sitting with Hermione, so I couldn't sit there. I looked further, but only one seat was available.

********
Wonderful. Marvelous. Potter comes in late, and I have to sit next to him because Pansy is sick today. As he sets his books down on the desk, he scowls at me, and turns to face Ron, who is looking questioningly at Potter. Harry mouths to him.

"Why didn't you wake me up?"

Ron replies in a quiet whisper. Obviously he is too much of a dolt to realize he will be heard. "I tried to wake you up, but you were sleeping too soundly." Hermione, hearing Ron, turns around and shushes him, and then faces Harry. "Snape gave you an F today because you didn't show up to class. He also asked me to tell you that you will be serving detention with him Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights next week, from 7 p.m. to 11."

Harry sighed and began working on the assignment. I sat staring at him, having already finished the assignment. I studied him. His eyes were green, and hidden behind glasses that were extremely dirty. His hair was ruffled and mussed, not like mine. His shirt was on backwards, and it was obvious that he had dressed hurriedly. What was it that Ginny saw in him?

Potter realized I was looking at him. He glared at me and asked, "What's your problem?" I shook my head, and looked back down at my paper. I began to sketch, preoccupied with thoughts of Ginny. As my pencil scratched, her picture quickly developed. Harry glanced over, and did a double take. His jaw dropped, and he asked me, "How did you do that?" I shrugged, and wrote at the bottom of the paper, in a huge flourish: Ginny.

Sighing, I crumpled the paper up, and stuffed it in my book bag. I stared across the room at the dusty blackboard, and tears filled my eyes. I cried softly and silently, so that no one would know I was crying.

********
It was breakfast time, and I was starting to get worried. The meal was almost over, most of the students had left the Great Hall, and Harry was still nowhere to be seen. I searched the room frantically, but didn't see him anywhere. While I was desperately scanning the room, Neville Longbottom, a short, stout, forgetful boy in Harry's year came and sat down next to me.

"What's wrong, Ginny?" His voice sounded sincere, and worried. Although I didn't want to talk to anyone, I couldn't help but reply.

"I can't find Harry anywhere. I need to talk to him."

Neville's reply seemed somewhat hurt and dejected as he answered me. "Oh. Ginny, Harry's still asleep. We tried to wake him up, but he wouldn't awaken. Hopefully he isn't too late to Potions this morning, or Snape will be really mad."

Relief flooded through me as Neville delivered his answer. Suddenly very thankful, and happy that Harry hadn't changed his mind about us, I jumped up and gave Neville the biggest hug I could muster. "Thank you so much, Neville! You're the greatest!"

As I turned and left the Great Hall, I heard Neville say behind me, "Gee, thanks, Ginny. The greatest!" He then turned to Seamus, who was sitting next to him, and said, "Didja hear that, Dean? She thinks I'm the greatest!" I couldn't help but laugh happily as I pushed open the door to the Great Hall and headed off to my first class.

********
Perfection. Bliss. Despite the fact that Snape is staring at me down his pale, hooked nose with a look of intense disgust on his face, and despite the fact that I once again have to sit next to Malfoy, I am in heaven. Ginny's love is almost more than I can handle. It is enough to keep me alive, or so I hope. I look forward to lunch, when I can see her again. I hope she never leaves me.

********
It was lunchtime in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hungry students filed into the Great Hall, wandering off to sit with their friends. Four long tables were set up in the room, each set with their house colors. The Slytherin table was on the far right, colored in green and silver. The students at that table could be dangerous, while others were just plain spiteful. The table next to that one was Hufflepuff, covered in yellow and black. The students there were loyal and honest, and great friends. Next came the table of Ravenclaw, covered in blue and gold, where the school's brightest students sat. They were the students who made straight As. The table on the far left was Gryffindor, where sat the brave at heart. Their table was adorned with scarlet and gold, like the feathers of a phoenix; the colors seemed to outshine the others. As the hall quieted, Dumbledore rose and said triumphantly, "Let us eat!" Soon the plates filled with food, and the students were digging in. But there were two students missing from the room, and Albus Dumbledore knew that they were not there. Only one other person had discovered that those two were missing, and he was not happy about it one bit. As soon as his friends were caught up in a meaningless conversation, Draco Malfoy slipped quietly away.

********
Out in the courtyard, I held Ginny close to me. She pulled me tight against her, and we sat there, in peaceful serenity. It was bliss, once more, and I didn't want it to end. Lunch was occurring in the Great Hall, so no one would find us here. Ginny sighed, and I pulled away from her.

"What's wrong, Ginny?" I asked.

She glanced at me distractedly, blinked, and then replied. "Oh, nothing, Harry. This is just too good to be true. How can it ---," she broke off, staring off behind me. I turned around to see what she was looking at, and started. Draco Malfoy was standing behind us, fuming. He looked so angry that I didn't know what to do. I jumped up, ready to defend Ginny. But he didn't fight. He simply turned and walked away.

Ginny and I looked at each other. Our peacefulness was broken, and lunch was almost over anyway. I put my arm around her and we walked away, heading off towards her transfiguration classroom. I had Divination next, so we parted when we reached her classroom, and I headed up the stairs.

As I climbed the twisting stairwell to the Divination tower, I contemplated Draco's arrival in the courtyard. What was he doing there? Why didn't he fight? His behavior was so unlike Draco that I knew something was wrong. Then I remembered...his drawing in DADA. It was of Ginny. Does Malfoy like Ginny, too?

********
It was a dark night, and she barely noticed the snowy white owl as it glided silently into her room. It waited patiently for a few minutes, and then decided that she was unconscious. The great raptor dropped the note it carried onto her desk, and glided once more out of the room. She never knew the note was there, and she wouldn't find it again 'til morning's light dawned on the cold, dreary castle.

********
I awakened that morning with a heavy lump in my stomach. The sun glared in my eyes, and I really wanted to go back to sleep for another few hours. Getting up, I crossed the room to my desk, looking for my anti- nausea pills. I keep a good supply in my desk for the times that I make myself sick with nerves. However, when I saw the piece of folded, weathered parchment lying on my desk, I soon forgot about my pills and turned the note over in my hands. On the front, written in dark green ink and with fancy embellishments, was my name: Ginny. Filled with wonder, I unfolded the note, and found on the inside one simple phrase, written in French: Mon amour pour vous ne mourra jamais. There was no indication of whom the letter was from, and I couldn't read the French. I quickly dressed, pulling on my pressed white shirt, gray pleated skirt, and gray knee socks. On went my Gryffindor tie, striped diagonally in equal bands of scarlet and gold, and then my scarlet suede shoes. I hastily pulled on my robe, grabbed my school bags, and stuffed the note in my pocket. I was late for breakfast, but maybe one of my professors could help me read the French after class.

********