Title: It Was Just An Idea
Author: Sakura1287 [Kristina]
Disclaimer: The characters are all JKR's, the plot s all mine, and the bathub goodness belongs to Nitya. =]
Summary: Ginny considers the life of a Death Eater. Draco helps.
Dedication: To Nitya, who inspired this ficlet by merely saying "bathtub". And by not being able to go to the Harry and the Potter's concert oh so long ago.
Author's Note: All wonderfully angstful and a bit fluffy at the same time. And takes place in a bathtub for no reason other than that Nitya requested it. =P
So what if she wondered what it would be like to be on the dark side sometimes?
So what if the Order annoyed her after a year and a half of working nonstop and having absolutely nothing to show for it? You'd think that with someone as powerful as Dumbledore on their side, they might have accomplished something by now. Or at least compromised with the Ministry.
The Ministry. Gosh, thought Ginny, was the Ministry the mess. Seventy-five percent was now made up of Death Eaters, and those who weren't were so brainwashed into ignoring the Dark Lord threats that there was no chance of convincing them otherwise.
In fact, the life of a Death Eater seemed a lot more glamorous right now than that of someone who believed in Harry Potter's tales.
Ginny, of course, did believe Harry. She had seen Voldemort herself, down in the Chamber of Secrets in her first year. She wouldn't forget that, ever.
But now that she was older, stronger… she was curious. Curious what it would be like to talk to the Dark Lord again… to be his friend again…
So what if she'd taken a green permanent marker from Hermione's bag and was drawing what she thought looked like a Dark Mark on her arm?
She was just thinking, after all. Just considering. Nothing to alert the Daily Prophet about.
Ginny sat alone in the Gryffindor common room, an hour or two past curfew. Only a few students were still up; a group of her fellow fifth years studying for O.W.L.s, some first years playing an animated game of Wizard's Chess, and Hermione, dozing over a thick copy of Hogwarts, a History.
Ginny was staring into the fire, lost in thought. Every so often she would raise her shirtsleeve, giving her pale freckled arm a peek. On it, slightly smudged, was a wobbly green skull, with an even more scribbled looking snake twisting through it. Ginny was no artist, but she was pleased with what she saw. Embarrassed, but pleased.
Though before anyone could see what she was up to, she would drop her sleeve again and resume staring into the fire.
Tomorrow was Friday. That meant Double Potions in the morning. She actually enjoyed Potions; she'd finished all her homework previously in the week. It was only a little bit after her normal bedtime, she had no homework, and Ginny really fancied a bath. A nice warm relaxing bath. Mainly to get the mark off her arm; not because she wanted it gone, but because she didn't want anyone to see it and get the wrong idea.
Dragging herself up from the comfy overstuffed armchair, she hurried quietly to the dimly lit entrance of the common room. She wanted to get out without anyone seeing her and asking uncomfortable questions.
Luckily everybody in the room was either concentrating on something or sleeping, so this part of her escape was no problem. The tough part would be not getting caught out in the corridors.
The portrait of the Fat Lady swung open soundlessly. She gave Ginny a suspicious look, but said nothing. Ginny thanked her in a hushed voice and promised she wouldn't be out too long.
The walk down the darkened hallway and staircases was exhilarating to Ginny, who relished in rebellion just like her older twin brothers. She really missed having them at Hogwarts, but liked that she was unofficially handed her the baton, even if she barely scraped their standards. They'd sent her an entire box of Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes for Christmas this year in hopes that she'd put them to good use.
Before she knew it, she was down by the entrance to the Great Hall, very near the public bathrooms. Stopping at the bottom step of the staircase, she looked around quickly to make sure no one was out, and then made a mad dash down the wing to the bathrooms.
Suddenly a foot stuck out from behind a marble pillar and connected solidly with Ginny's own, sending her sprawling forward face first into the carpet. She couldn't help but let out a little shriek as her cheek hit the ground; she snapped herself up as soon as she'd stopped sliding.
She spun around, still sitting on the floor in a mess of bruises and surprise, to see her attacker. And to her disbelief, staring down at her with an obnoxious smirk slung across his features was none other than Draco Malfoy, arms crossed coolly over his chest and leaning against the pillar.
"What on earth are you doing down here, Malfoy?" Ginny asked, voice full of spite. She was still in shock from suddenly ending up on the floor.
"I would say I am entitled to asking you much of the same, Weasley. I, for one, am always down here. Filch lets me off easy for rule breaking if I stand down here and watch for other night-prowling rule breakers like yourself. Usually I alert him of out-of-bed students without them knowing, but this was just too good an opportunity to pass up, seeing you sprawled over the floor like that. So now you know my deal. What's yours? Make it a good one, or straight to Filch I go."
Ginny loathed how composed he was, as if he had given this speech a thousand times before. It explained how simply he'd told her what he was up to… she couldn't possibly explain anything to him without him immediately running to Filch because of it.
She couldn't say she came down for a bath. That was against the rules, the baths were only open to students during the hours of curfew. And she definitely couldn't tell him why she needed a bath. That would just cause many unwanted questions to arise.
Sad to say, Ginny was stuck. She had no idea what to tell the arrogant blonde sixth year.
But, much to her surprise, she didn't have to.
Something had changed in Draco's facial expression, from a solid emotionless look to almost… curiosity. It was as though he had suddenly come to some unknown conclusion about her.
"You know Weasley… just go. I don't even care where it is you're off to. But you owe me. Remember that."
His voice sounded oddly hollow and she couldn't gather any reason as to why he would be letting her go when he could probably land her a week detention from Filch for being out of bed.
She didn't even have a chance to say anything witty back, because her stomach was tied in knots and her mouth forgot how to function properly.
"Erm… thanks, M- …thanks Draco. I really appreciate it," she stammered, utterly and completely confused.
She walked slowly away from him, feeling his eyes burning into the back of her head the whole way down the hall. She didn't chance looking over her shoulder; afraid he would change his mind and drag her up to Filch's office if she so much as glanced at him again.
Once around the corner, she felt her breathing come back to normal. She found she could not explain what had happened back there, but was too grateful to care. Imagine if she'd had to explain to him what she was up to…
The entrance to the girls' bathroom was just a few doors down on the left, and Ginny let herself in with a sigh of relief. No one should be bothering her now; not here.
There was a long row of curtained bathtubs along one wall, with benches to leave clothing on the other. Huge fluffy towels in every house color hung from silver rungs above the benches. Just for kicks, Ginny grabbed a green one. She fingered the silver S embroidered in the soft material momentarily.
Then she picked a tub, a nice medium sized one in the middle, and turned on the faucet. Making sure the water temperature was to her liking, she held her hand under the running water for a few moments before returning to the bench to undress.
As she tugged on the bottom of her already tattered sweater, she heard a faint ripping sound. Perplexed, Ginny looked it over, trying to find the source of the sound. Sure enough, halfway down her sleeve was a tear in the seam, already a few inches long. "It must have ripped when I fell… stupid Malfoy."
She was about to pull the sweater completely off over her head when she noticed something. From the very top of the rip she could see a bit of the dark green mark she'd scrawled on her arm. Only a tiny bit was visible, but enough to distinguish what it was. And to tell it was only a replica.
Draco couldn't possibly have seen it… could he have? Ginny's eyes widened at this possibility. But she shook her head, he couldn't have. He would have questioned her about it, or yelled at her, or something. Anything but just letting her walk away.
She shrugged off the notion. It didn't matter anyway. If he had seen it, and was to question her about it later, it'd be gone already. That was, after all, why she'd come down here in the first place. To get rid of it.
After folding her clothes rather haphazardly and throwing them in a pile, Ginny took out her wand for one last adjustment. She tapped it on the side of the bathtub and watched as it created a small explosion of soft pink bubbles.
Grinning, she lowered herself into the frothy water.
For a few minutes, Ginny merely relished in the wonderful feel of the bath. As busy as she had been lately with schoolwork and daydreaming about the dark side, she'd scarcely had a chance to take a real bath and generally just charmed herself clean.
It felt really good to do things the long way for a change.
Soon she submerged her head under the water, slicking her hair back behind her as she came up. She reached for the soap on the stand beside the tub, rolled it over in her hands a few times, and then started scrubbing at the marking on her arm.
She wasn't really paying much attention to what she was doing; she was scrubbing in an automatic rhythm whilst thinking again about her first year… the diary… how Tom had been so interested in her life, her feelings…
Suddenly she realized she was nearly scrubbing her arm raw. She looked down expecting to see just a blotchy red mess, but cried out in frustration when she saw the scribbled picture still there, dark as ever, but surrounded by a blotchy red mess.
She dropped the soap into the water and started rubbing her arm violently with her other hand, and when that didn't help, began scratching at it. "Get off!" Ginny shrieked, getting a little bit frantic.
It was starting to bleed. Tiny drops of blood slipped down her arm into the water of the bath. The soap that was still clinging to her skin was seeping into the gashes, stinging rather profusely.
Tears of frustration leaped from her eyes as she finally recalled exactly what kind of pen she'd nicked from Hermione's bag.
Weasley's Magic Markers – More permanent than the scar on Harry's head!
Her own brothers invented the ruddy pens! And she'd forgotten that when they say permanent, they mean permanent. Or at least for a few weeks.
She let out a moan of defeat and submerged herself in water again. She stayed under for as long as she could hold her breath this time, until she felt the pressure on her lungs. With a splash she resurfaced, and gave her reddened arm a look of contempt.
"Not fun when it doesn't go away, is it?"
Her eyes widened and she started, smacking her head on the back of the tub. Groaning in pain, she looked up and saw Draco, leaning against the wall in the same position she'd seen him in the hallway. She stared at him openmouthed for a second, until she realized that her upper body was very much exposed and clapped her arms across her chest. Then she saw that her pathetically red arm was in full view, and tried to hide that as well, but just didn't have enough arms to hide everything needing covering. She was, for the second time that evening, trapped.
"It's okay Weasley, I already saw it. You don't have to cover the mark." Draco's voice was sickeningly pleasant and he openly stared at her with a little half smile.
"It's- it's not real." She protested, unaware of how silly this was. Of course he knew it wasn't real, it looked like a crude drawing made by a five-year-old.
He raised one perfectly manicured eyebrow. "However, you wish it were, don't you?" He still hadn't moved, his body or his eyes, and this was making Ginny nervous. Especially since she didn't have any clothes on.
"Of course not. Why do you think I was washing it off?" Ginny's voice had an unmistakably wavering bit of harshness to it.
Draco's eyebrow raised even higher. "How did it get there in the first place? You can't possibly tell me Granger was trying out her drawing skills, or Potter was practicing just to see how they look. You did it yourself, didn't you." He was grilling her. And Ginny found herself quite defenseless.
"So I did it myself. It was just an idea. And now I want it gone."
Draco clucked his tongue. "But do you really?" He sauntered over to the bench where her clothes were, brushed her ratty pile to the side, and picked up the fluffy green towel. "I used one just like this, this morning. Funny you're using one too. Aren't your colors red and gold?"
"I don't know… it was the first one I grabbed. Leave me alone Malfoy, let a girl bathe in peace," Ginny half demanded, half pleaded. She didn't like his knowing stares, or his cool attitude toward her strange interests.
"In peace? In peace? Honestly Weasley, you were sobbing your brains out when I showed up. You should be grateful I was able to dry your tears."
Ginny let out a hard laugh. "Dry my tears? Don't flatter yourself, you didn't do anything but grate my nerves. And now, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like you to leave. These are the girls' baths and if I'm not mistaken, you have the wrong parts."
At this, Ginny swore she almost saw him grin. Instead of leaving, he took a few steps closer. "I saw your shoddy mark in the hallway. Would I have followed you had I not a reason?"
"I thought you didn't care where I was off to," Ginny relented coldly.
"I wanted you to trust me."
There was an echoing silence after this sentence that Ginny wasn't quite sure how to break. After a few seconds too long, she said, "You what?"
"I knew what kind of pen that was you'd used. Pansy bought one last week to draw mustaches on Crabbe and Goyle. I knew you didn't want anyone to see it, and you were heading off toward the girls' baths. Only a dunce wouldn't put the clues together. It won't come off, Weasley. Not for awhile."
"Well I know that now, Malfoy! What does that have to do with you? Did you just want to see me suffering? Or want to catch me without my clothes on?"
"Now who's flattering themselves? I know loads of girls who'd take their clothes off for me, I don't need to be sneaking in on Weasley's for that."
"You're a prat."
Draco smirked. "The sooner you realize that, the better."
Ginny couldn't help but scoff.
Draco let her have her childish moment. "Now are you through calling me names? Can I tell you why I followed you?"
"Unless you're still trying to sneak a peak at my breasts, then yes," Ginny retorted matter-of-factly. It was true, she'd caught him looking. She covered her chest a bit tighter.
Draco rolled his eyes. "You're the one without a shirt on, you blame me for looking? I can't help it I'm a boy with boyish interests."
"I know plenty of boys with more decency than you."
"I'm through with this. If you're not going to listen to me-"
Ginny sat up straighter. "Say what you want to say."
"I think it's too late for conversation, I'd better just show you."
With this, he began taking off his own clothes. Ginny felt a faint blush dusting her cheeks as he pulled his long sleeved black shirt over his head, revealing a notably pale chest. He pulled his pants down as well, leaving only soft green boxers. She was too busy staring at his near perfect body to realize what he was doing, and before she knew it he'd hopped into the bath with her.
"Oh!" Ginny cried in surprise as she felt his legs tangle with her own to find room. After a few seconds he seemed comfortable.
"Draco Malfoy, get out of this tub right-"
He shoved his own upper arm right in her face.
"-now," she said softly, gazing intently at his arm.
On it was a skull, with a snake entwined through it, crisper and cleaner and darker than she could have hoped to achieve with her silly pen. A dark mark. A real one.
"Mine won't come off either." Draco's voice sounded hollow, but not angry.
She was too transfixed on the marking to remember that a half-naked Draco Malfoy had just completely violated her personal space. She took her finger, slightly wrinkled from the water, and traced the mark gingerly.
It made her own scribbles look like chicken scratches. She never thought – never knew people this young could have the mark.
"No one else our age has one," Draco said suddenly, as if he'd read her mind. "My father demanded it. Some deal he made with Voldemort."
Ginny didn't flinch at the name. She never did.
"If you want one, I can arrange it."
His words were so simple, yet it took Ginny a full minute to figure out what he meant. "You, what? Me? A dark… Could you? No."
Draco laughed. His laugh was hard, and crude, but Ginny had the feeling he wasn't trying to be nasty. "At least you sound decisive about it."
"Draco, you're being ridiculous. I'm a Gryffindor. My parents are in the Order. I'm friends with Harry Potter. What do you think you're playing at here?"
"Ginny. It's written on your arm. You don't like the life you have, do you? I'm the only person you know that knows first hand what it's like to actually have a mark. I can tell you about it, I can get you one. Just name what you want."
This was insane. Of course she didn't really want to be a Death Eater. Sure she was friends with Tom Riddle when she was younger. Sure she still thought about him all the time, dreamt about him, and wished she could see him again. Even though that was impossible.
And maybe she'd been picking out green for all her new clothing… that certainly didn't mean anything.
The messy, childish imitation dark mark on her arm definitely didn't mean she wanted one. She would just tell Draco he was raving mad to have asked her, and order him out instantly. She'd find a way to remove the mark. She was clever.
"Does… does it hurt?" she found herself asking him instead. She mentally slapped herself, but leaned forward for his response nonetheless.
He bit his lip. "Not now. Sometimes, though. When he's angry, or when he's calling us." He said. "It's not too bad though," he added hurriedly, seeing the look on her face.
"Are you just doing this to recruit people?"
"Maybe," Draco smirked. "Or maybe I really want to help you."
"Why would you want to help me?"
Suddenly, at this question, Draco gave her a devilish grin. "Well you are naked next to me in a bathtub, which could be a very promising situation. That's always a good reason."
Ginny scowled, and tried pulling away from him. Her attempts were unsuccessful, as the tub was really not even big enough for two people. "That's hardly a reason to be bragging about."
"Seriously, Ginny. Are you happy?"
She had to think for a moment.
Nobody had ever asked her that before, and honestly, she wasn't entirely sure. She didn't have any dire problems per se, but she wasn't thrilled about getting up in the morning, because she didn't find anything exciting anymore. Even lighting off Fillibuster Fireworks behind a teacher's back during class had lost its enthralling appeal.
"No, I suppose not."
"The dark side is exciting. Rebellious. Powerful. It's obvious the Order has no chance, you know that, right? You're fighting a losing battle by disagreeing, so why don't you just give in? I can help you. You'd be the first of anyone else here at Hogwarts. You'd be important."
"Look, Voldemort asked me about you, Ginny. He remembers you. He remembers from when he was sixteen years old. He may have tried to kill you for his own benefit, but he can't deny that he was attracted to you. He wants you on our side. He knows you have power."
"Attracted to me? I was eleven years old."
Draco chuckled. "I never said he was right in the head. But it's true. I'm not just randomly asking you to join sides for me, you were asked for."
Ginny's ears were ringing with this news. Tom remembered her. He wanted to see her again. Her, Ginny Weasley.
"But last time I saw him he tried to kill me," Ginny said slowly.
"Then he needed your strength to survive. He has his own body now, but still wants your strength on our side. He doesn't want to hurt you… he wants you to be one of us."
"One of you…" Ginny's voice trailed off as she thought about Draco's proposition.
She sat in silence, not looking at Draco but at the bubbles between them, which were popping and getting less dense the longer they sat in the tub. All the things he'd said were running rampant through her head and she couldn't think of one possible thing to say. She didn't know what she wanted… didn't want to admit to herself that she was very interested in what Draco was telling her.
She didn't want to admit to herself that she wasn't even uncomfortable with the fact that she was sitting in a bathtub with Draco, completely naked; feeling as his leg was moving along the side of hers, bringing their bodies slightly closer together.
And she didn't want to admit to herself that she knew Draco was staring at her chest that was exposed from the popping bubbles… and that she didn't mind.
She chanced a look at his face. He was searching her own for an answer. His eyes had a silver glint to them, just a slight offset… so like the one she'd seen in Tom's so many years ago… In fact, Draco was quite like Tom in more ways than one… his determined mindset, hardened compassion, and undeniably good looks…
"Well? Do you know what you want?" Draco's voice was firm, but not impatient. He had no desire to leave his current position.
I want Tom, Ginny thought. Tom Marvolo Riddle. I want my friend back, I want to do bad things again, I want to feel important. I want to be powerful, she added as a footnote to herself.
"Yes, I know what I want. But it's something I can't have anymore, it's gone. But I also know what could possibly make up for it."
"What?" Draco asked, genuinely curious.
"I'd better just show you," Ginny said, mimicking the way Draco had said that very same sentence to her earlier, only with a hint of doubt.
She leaned forward between his legs and nipped at his lips softly, gripping the edge of the tub behind him to balance herself. He was kissing her back now, then after a few moments, moving his hands dangerously close to her breasts, where his eyes had been all evening.
She tried to imagine his dark hair, his piercing eyes, his serpent speech… this wasn't Tom Riddle.
This was Draco Malfoy.
It needed some thinking over. This whole situation did. She felt too right here, too quickly. She had to be sure she knew the difference between Tom and Draco… it was too complicated if she didn't.
Before his hands had reached their destination, Ginny pulled away defiantly. She wiped off her mouth, and gave Draco a little smile. "Sorry…" she whispered.
Having said this, she stepped carefully out of the tub, fully aware that she was giving Draco a complete feast for his eyes. Not caring, she walked over to her things, wrapped the Slytherin towel around her sopping body, and clumsily grabbed the rest of her clothing.
"Well, thank you for this informative meeting. I'll be wearing a long-sleeved shirt for the next few weeks and getting in contact with you about my decision shortly. Have a good night, Draco."
Without looking back, she headed toward the bathroom's exit, leaving a completely bewildered Draco alone in the bathtub. She reached for the handle of the door, and quickly let herself out.
She was about to race down the hallway, away from the confusion, the feelings she couldn't decode, and tough decisions that awaited her, but then on second thought, she poked her head back in and winked at Draco.
Satisfied, she turned back around and sauntered up to Gryffindor tower, with a secret smile on her face.