Title: Beautiful
Author: Faith
Rating: PG
Shipping: Draco/Ginny
Spoilers: Slight mild references to CoS.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything! So if you sue me, ha! I have a disclaimer!
Summary: He had thought she was dull, plain, even a bit ugly. That's what she had struck him as- nothing special. Nothing beautiful.
Author's Note: Completely harmless plot bunny that would not leave me alone.

The first time his gaze had drifted over her, he had seen a small face, framed by bright red hair and freckles. Oval was the shape, and her eyes were cinnamon, and burning with anger. Her nose was an average size, her eyes weren't too close together, nor apart, and she had pink, thin lips.

He had thought she was dull, plain, even a bit ugly. That's what she had struck him as- nothing special. Nothing beautiful.

At first glance.

It wasn't the second, not even the third- he wasn't sure how many, really, all he knew was that one day, a day of normalcy and routine, she had walked past him, nothing different about her appearance, nothing his eyes could see that had been changed. She still had that oval face, those large cinnamon eyes, not pinched together nor too far apart. Still her nose sat with its normal size, still covered in freckles, and her lips were yet still pink and thin. She was only just a bit taller, a bit more curved, a bit more older, not a drastic change, not a truly enticing form a male would turn his head to watch, and not a change that hadn't occurred last year, either.

But, she had passed, the normal plainness that was her features still present, yet something had changed, he was sure of it, because she didn't look as plain and dull as those other days. She looked even a bit pretty.

He was sure it must have been the lighting, maybe the angle. Either way, she was still plain and dull and even a bit ugly, he decided.

But the next day brought the next glance, and it was in a different lighting and a different angle, and that nagging voice in his head commented the truth. She was a bit pretty, and what's the harm in denying? He could accept such, and went on with the day in a state as he was usually in. Which was a bit surprising, being as this one realization that had taken place on that day would change quite a bit in his accustomed life.

The next day brought, yet again, another glance, even two, for he had seen her twice- in the hall as their classes had destined them to merge, and then in the library, where she seemed to be interested in reading for the day. He had decided to study for his next test, and quite by coincidence sat at a distance and on a chair that gave him a clear view of her.

He noticed another small, subtle change in her appearance that day- some of her freckles had faded, and it being winter, he idly wondered if they came back under the summer sun. Of course, this thought was cast aside, for it was highly unacceptable.

Slightly surprised by his strange wanderings of mind, he took a different route to class the next day, and the next, also, and he hadn't seen her for quite awhile, besides at dinners and lunches, but that surely did not count, for she was much farther away, and he couldn't always see her as clearly. Until one day, it seemed, she herself had taken a different route to class- whether it was because she needed a shortcut or perhaps was otherwise unaware of a wrong turn, being preoccupied with thoughts, he did not know.

But that day, he had past her for the first time in a long time, and rather close, actually, and he just caught a wisp of strawberries in her hair before the pleasant smell was gone.

For some unattainable reason, the next day and all the days after, he went back to his previous route to class, and it seemed she had also.

Sometimes she smelled like strawberries- there were plenty days of when the scent would linger in the air- but sometimes she smelt like apples, and cinnamon. Once in awhile he breathed in another scent, just as delightful as the others, but a bit spicier, and he'd often lie in bed or sit in class and wonder what it was. He even thought once or twice of actually asking, and he told himself he could even ask nastily, telling her she smelled horrible.

But, no, he couldn't do that. How could he be sure she'd answer truthfully, and if she did, what if she stopped wearing that particular perfume or desisted using that particular shampoo? No, he realized, it would be too risky.

After all, it was a nice smell, he reasoned, and there was no reason to deprive himself of such a treat.

The next day, quite to his pleasure, he saw her twice, again. She seemed to fancy the library, he noticed, because she seemed to be sitting in the same chair as the first time he saw her there, and for another unattainable reason, decided quite suddenly he liked the library, also. It was time he started visiting much more often. It was quieter than the common room, he reasoned.

And quite by another coincidence, always chose the same chair as before, though it had nothing to do with the fact she was just in his line of vision.

In the few days after, he stuck to the promise, and visited the library every day, very faithfully, and was pleased to realize his studying was paying off. Why, just the other day one of his professors complimented him on his sudden and wonderful grasp of the recent incantation he had accomplished, and, in another class, his last essay had scored the top grade.

His coming to the library was all for the best, really.

The next day, a day when he had absentmindedly noticed and remembered she smelled like apples, he sat down at his table, on his chair, took out his studies, and worked quite diligently.

She laughed. A soft giggle that sounded from her chest, and he looked up in time to see an amused, purely happy smile on her face. The reason of such a smile was obvious- she was reading a novel, and had most surely came across a funny expert, but that was a thought that only crossed his mind, for she was smiling.

And she looked rather beautiful when she did.

And he wondered what had made her smile.

He had only made her angry, just that one time, and he could almost remember embarrassing her a second. He wondered what it would take to make her smile. He wondered if he could. And a desire washed over him- he realized he wanted to.

That was definitely unacceptable, he told himself, even as his heart sped up and her smile slowly faded. The slight glitter in her eyes remained though, and for the first time he realized his utter stupidity.

Ginny Weasley was not plain or dull or even a bit ugly. It had taken him a fair amount of time, but Draco Malfoy finally understood.

Ginny Weasley was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid his eyes on.