A/N: Welcome to Chapter 3 of Soul Bound. Woo hoo. Want to read? Scroll down.

Have I ever done a disclaimer? OO Curses, well, here it is. I don't own any of it. Sadly.

Also, I know you guys hate me because of my updating phobia, but....I updated. XD Geez, I'm horrid. I'm so sorry everyone! ;; But thank Depth of Soul, to whom this chapter is dedicated, just because she rocks candy. Loffers everybody!

kesh kesh!

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Ginny shrugged off her cloak after a long walk out on the grounds after dinner. She knew she was pushing her luck, since Mal-git had told her to meet directly after dinner, but she didn't care. She took her time on her walk, enjoying the chilled night breeze and staring at the stars.

Things weren't working out for her, were they? She tossed the worn cape over her bed before hurrying out of her dormitory.

"Where are you going, Gin?" Ron was doodling on the side of his report, and barely glanced at her as she passed. Harry sat beside him, tapping his quill as his green eyes scanned the book in front of him.

"Really," Hermione agreed, slipping her sleeve away from her wrist. "It's going to be curfew in an hour."

"I've got detention," Ginny said grudgingly. "And I better get there quick- I'm already late."

"What did you do?" Ron was staring at her with surprise. "You don't do anything wrong."

"Except with Snape," Harry pitched in, grinning insolently at the Weasley girl. "Besides, Ginny's probably living a secret life of gangs and spray paint."

Ginny rolled her eyes. "I was out past curfew." She didn't bother to add that Malfoy was involved, knowing the spaz attack her brother might pitch. Looking at them nonchalantly, she knew she had them fooled. Except for Harry, who now was staring at her through critical eyes, looking less than satisfied with the answer provided.

"Ginny!" Hermione clucked her tongue. "What were you thinking? I can't believe you'd be that irresponsible."

Ginny rolled her eyes and gave Hermione a look. The brown haired girl remained unfazed, which just added a twinge of annoyance. But she seriously was late, and needed to go now. "See you all later." She gave a wave, and sped off for the potrait hole.

When she reached the hall outside the library, her heart sunk. Malfoy wasn't there. Thinking maybe she missed him, she looked around, and peeked into the library. Blaise Zabini was exiting at that moment, her expensive leather bookbag thrown over her shoulder.

"Hey, Blaise," Ginny said timidly, holding her hand up to stop the Slytherin girl.

Blaise raised an eyebrow, though her magenta eyes remained emotionless. "Weasley?"

"Was Malfoy--?" Ginny trailed off as Pansy Parkinson's laugh cut through the hallways. "Ah, wait. I think I've found him." She nodded to Blaise, folding her arms across her chest as Draco strolled around the corner.

Blaise moved around her, passing a disgusted look at the couple. Pansy was literally hanging off Draco, and was laughing incredibly hard.

Pansy gave Ginny a scrutinizing look before disentangling herself from the blonde boy and kissing his cheek.

"See you later tonight," she whispered before hurrying off.

Ginny wasn't thrilled. Oh, right. Mr. Prefect leaving her here, showing up a half an hour late. What if she had actually come on time? She'd have been here forever! She gave him a venomous glare. "Thanks for being prompt, Malfoy."

"Nice try, Weasel," he leered at her, giving her his usual critical eye. "But I showed up a half hour ago, unlike someone."

Damn it. "So you prance off with Parkinson before coming back? What made you think I'd show?"

"You're a Gryffindor, dull-wit. And a Weasley. You'd show up." He shrugged, before walking past her. "Come on, Snape's given us our assignment in the Forbidden Forest."

"Your assignment?"

"Your assignment- gather up the Insulsus Weed. My assignment- to make sure you don't fall down any holes or get eaten by a raving hedgehog."

Ginny, to her horror, felt a smile tug at her lip for the last part. The image of Malfoy trying to escape a rabid rodent was entertaining to a point.

The night breeze was numbing. She shivered, rubbing her hands together. The temperature seemed to have dropped from the short period between her walk and now. She slipped her wand out of her robe's pocket, and quickly cast a Heating Charm on herself.

"I'll take that." The Slytherin boy reached over and snatched her wand from her, a sneer not at all out of place on his features. "No magic tonight, Weasley."

Narrowing her brown eyes, she gave him a healthy dose of eyedaggers before going ahead of him, tromping over the grass. "So what does the Insulsus Weed look like, Ferret?"

Draco's laughter was cold and mocking. "Didn't you do your homework, Weasley? That's fifth year knowledge."

"Is that the 'cool' way to say you don't know?"

"Of course I know," Draco responded distantly. "Not that it surprises me that you don't. I'll give you a hint: it's not a dandelion."

"Stay up all night writing that one?" she snapped.

"Not really- just came to me. But I know you'll be up all night trying to understand it."

Enough of this game. He was really getting annoying now. "You know what, Malfoy?" She turned on her heel, feeling her cheeks burn. "Your maturity level isn't much above a six year old's, is it?"

"At least it's higher than your intelligence." He studied a finger nail carefully, before looking up at her with gleaming snake eyes. "Come now, Weasley. You don't want to be here all night, do you? I surely don't."

She let out an aggitated growl before stomping off in the direction of the Forbidden Forest.

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The little Weasley was really very amusing. He was having a grand time, watching her try to contain her temper. Right now, as she stomped off, he couldn't help but smirk. She was pretty, he had to admit. In an unusual, unique way. Honestly, he would have smacked himself, but he gave himself a pass, seeing that she was his soulmate. He could oggle all he wanted, he thought with satisfaction. It was practically a permit.

He found a stump, inspected it for dirt, and finally sat down, beginning his night watch. Weasley girl wasn't very happy to be out here, he could see that, but it was only a given. Rolling his eyes, he finally told her. "It's a yellow-leafed weed, Weasley. Stop stalling and getting to work. Snape wants at least three dozen by the end of tonight."

"Sod off, Malfoy." She slipped off into the darkness, keeping an eye over her shoulder for the plant.

He didn't find it neccesary to tell her that they all grew in the east grove, either. He smirked, turning his pale face up to the stars that peeked through the canopy of the forest.

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The noises coming from all around her weren't very settling. She could even swear, from time to time, that she heard the beatings of hooves. It was unnerving, walking in the woods whose own horror stories haunted students from first to sixth year.

The leaves under her feet crunched with every step, and several times she had to bend down for a better view of the plants at her feet. For the past forty-five minutes- at least!- she had been looking for this cursed Insulsus Weed, and all she had to show for it was four of the scrawny, sickly looking plants.

Pausing for a break, she leaned up against the nearest tree, letting herself relax momentarily. The night breeze touched her cheek, and the sound of rustling leaves was actually pretty soothing.

It was, at least, until she heard what sounded like a whistling. It was highpitched and scratching to in her ears, it seemed, and she almost dropped her Insulsus weeds just to plug her ears. But she refrained, and it was almost unneeded. The whistling stopped suddenly, which just caused her senses to heighten. She stuffed the weeds into her pocket, trying to control her dancing nerves. Completely still, she stood for a moment, trying to hear anything else.

That was it- flapping wings disturbed the branches above her, the twigs snapping as something hit them. She let out a quick scream of alarm, dropping to her knees as something shadowy swooped upon her. It dove again, the sharp edges of the wings slicing through the air and over her. Ginny tucked her head under her arms, whimpering as she threw herself completely onto the ground. A pair of talons dug into back briefly before it flapped away once more, just as another screaming creature joined it.

Her fingers fumbled for her wand, struggling around the weeds in her pocket for it. Then she remembered- she didn't have it. She shifted herself up to her knees, trying her best to keep her head covered, and did the next best thing.

She ran for it.

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He thought he heard her scream. It sent him to feet, half from the suddeness of the sound. His hearing jumped to its extreme, the sounds of the forest echoing around him. Frantic footsteps pounded the soil, cracking twigs and sending leaves up behind it.

"Weasley?" He shouted through the trees. "What is it?"

The red-headed brat didn't reply, but in moments she surged into the clearing, her face even more pale than usual. Her freckles were contrasted against her pale-as-death flesh, and her eyes were wide with terror. In a speed that he found shocking for the only Weasley girl, she ran over to him, and somehow managed to both put an iron lock grip on his forearms, shove him in front of her, and also wrestle her wand out of his pocket.

"What the hell?" was all he managed to say before a shadowed creature with long, gossamer wings soared out from beneath the branches of the dark trees. Ginny's grasp on his arm tightened immediately, which didn't help much as he struggled for his wand. The nocturnal beast wasn't looking as if it were often associated with harmless things like Kneazles or unicorns, either. It cried out, a screech that rattled his very eardrums, causing him to cringe.

The sixth year behind him finally seemed to regain her senses. She brandished her wand. "Incendio!"

A bit too close for Draco's comfort, flames suddenly shot up not even a yard before his feet, the heat licking at him and bringing a glow to his features. But the Weasel's idea wasn't completely useless, as it did seem to catch the wretched thing off gaurd. It gave another shriek, then rounded back under the branches.

"Nice job, Weaselette," he snapped. "Lure it over here, why don't you?"

"Stop being a git- we have to get out of here." She ignited the flame once more, giving it stronger light.

Draco swallowed as he looked back once more to the trees where it had disappeared. "Is that the only one?"

Ginny was already jogging off, her feet stepping on fallen leaves as she hurried away. "No; one of the several reasons so as to why we should leave."

Draco followed close behind, sprinting to catch up with her. The fire seemed to be holding the thing off well enough, but at any rate, he didn't want to be the one left when the flames died. His own wand was clutched tightly in his hand, waiting for anything else to pop out at them. He had ot admit, however, that he did indeed find himself rather distracted by the backside of the girl he was currently tracking.

He supposed it gave him a rather uncharacteristic remark- watching her behind, that is- and tried to comment, as inconspicuously as possible, on her spell.

She glanced over her shoulder, brows raised, and made something that sounded like a snort of disbelief.

His pale face colored slightly as he tried to recover. That's what he got in return for trying to be nice. Well fine then.

"You know," came Ginny's voice once more, "the first spell I had thought of was 'avis'...but somehow, I don't think that it would have much helped our situation." He could hear a smile in her voice, and for a moment couldn't believe she was actually giving him material to mock her with.

After recovering from the surprise, all he could manage was a sarcastic, "Brilliant, Weasley."

"You know, in some countries, that charm is revered as one of the most fearsome and advanced techniques." Over her shoulder, she threw a grin to Draco.

Temporarily forgetting the fact that Weasley was both his soul mate and family nemesis, Draco stopped. God only knew why. He was rooted to the ground, staring after Ginny Weasley.

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Ginny couldn't figure out why Malfoy wouldn't move. She had thought he was still following, but when she had turned to check on him, he hadn't moved an inch. She went back to him, eyebrow raised in puzzlement. He stared at her, an odd expression on his face. "Are you alright?"

Malfoy blinked. His face melted from that peculiar look to his routine sneer. "Fine, Weasel; but check back in a moment when the raving thing with wings comes back to slaughter us." He reached out and gave her a rough shove in the opposite direction.

Ginny swore, then glared at him. Her patience had been struck. "You're so bloody impossible!"

"Lovely, Weasley- you've finally discovered why exactly our families have hated each other for centuries." He began to walk, pushing her forward as she tried to reply.

"You know what your problem is, Malfoy? You're a spoiled, conceited boy who can't get passed the glory your family name's given you!" she vented. "Not only that, but you're a horrible person who's probably never going to figure that out, no matter how many people tell you!" She went on rambling for another moment, turning on her heel to curse at him.

He cut her off, however, by grabbing the back of her neck, and pulling her incredibly close. Ginny's eyes widened, watching his every movement. His fingers on the skin sent sparks through her veins. "And you, Weasel, are a dirty, poor girl from a pair of equally dirty people who can't stop breeding like jack rabbits." His tone was neutral, showing no offense to what she had just said. His face was so close to hers, the grey eyes staring down at her as his breath touched her lips in their proximity.

She swallowed, staring up at him, watching his eyes. For a moment, just a brief moment, she felt the urge to kiss him. Why, exactly, was beyond her; she just wanted to.

And for a moment, she suspected he was going to do just what was flitting through her mind. Of their own accord, her eyelids had drooped, giving her a slightly drowsy look. Malfoy didn't look much different. His grey orbs were focused completely on her, making her heart thunder.

A shriek from the woods startled them both. Ginny jumped, her eyes wide, while Draco's head merely shot up. In seconds, he had grabbed her hand and begun running, pulling out his wand with his opposite hand. Jinxes and defenses fell from his mouth as he dragged Ginny Weasley along. Though in her defense, Ginny Weasley wasn't too bad of a runner.

The exploded onto the grass of the Hogwarts grounds, right near Hagrid's hut.

A shriek from the woods startled them both. Ginny jumped, her eyes wide, while Draco's head merely shot up. In seconds, he had grabbed her hand and begun running, pulling out his wand with his opposite hand. Jinxes and defenses fell from his mouth as he dragged Ginny Weasley along. Though in her defense, Ginny Weasley wasn't too bad of a runner.

The exploded onto the grass of the Hogwarts grounds, right near Hagrid's hut.

"Stop sweating, Weasley." His drawl broke the silence. He slipped his wand away, looking as careless as ever.

"Like you weren't, Malferret." She glared at him. "Even you were panicking when the canary from Hell came to try and scratch that pretty hair right off your head."

But Malfoy was already walking up the hill to the school. He didn't glance behind to see if she followed, but instead shouted, "Coming, Weasley?" in what would probably be considered a 'nice' way, by Malfoy terms.

She shook her head now, as she looked back on what had transpired several moments before, disbelieving. Not for the atroscious bird that seemed to have missed the migration, but rather for her thoughts at the moment when the Slytherin boy had gazed down at her, grey eyes not straying from her face. Her heart fluttered at the thought, once more, as a bright red blush streamed to her cheeks.

Even now, watching his silohuette make its way up the terrain, she could remember the way his body warmed hers in their less than respectable distant. She picked up her step, following his path up to the school. And to think- she had said his hair was pretty.

The replusion would set in, she promised herself.

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A/N: Well, I tried. Hope you enjoyed to at least an extent. Happy Christmas, you guys!