Author's Note: This is my first Draco/Ginny fic, and I know, I know, it's rather fluffy and disgusting, but you know you love it. Hurls into nearest wastebin as I undoubtably do. I like the Draco/Ginny pairing, and will be working on more, so I'd really appreciate any helpful hints as to where I may have gone wrong.Please review, and enjoy.
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to J.K. Rowling, except for Jenna and anything else you may not recognize from the books. Sighs Unfortunately.
Puffy Red Eyes
Chapter 1: Dumping Mashed Potatoes
Ginny Weasley stormed out of her back yard, her large brown eyes watering, and her cheeks flaming nearly as red as her trademark Weasley hair.
Chickens scattered as she stalked past them, oblivious to them as she was to everything else except for one person. Harry Potter.
"Stupid prat!" Ginny hissed, hastening to wipe away the pearls of tears trickling down her cheeks.
Ever since her first year at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, when Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, had rescued her from the Chamber of Secrets and Lord Voldemort, Ginny had developed a huge crush for her brother Ron's best friend.
Unfortunately, being a year younger than him, (and a gangly red-head, as she often told her reflection in the mirror) he had failed to notice her for five years. It was only at the end of her fifth year (and his sixth) that Harry had noticed her for something other than his best mate's annoying little sister.
Ginny whirled through the garden gate, slamming it shut vindictively as she passed. As she made her way closer to her favorite alone spot (something to be treasured with six older brothers), tears sprang to her eyes again as she recalled that this was where Harry had first kissed her, at the beginning of the summer.
Ginny furiously sprinted the remaining few yards to her little stone alcove hidden by a rather large hedge. Flinging herself onto the weathered stone bench, Ginny released the torrent of tears that had been threatening to flow since Harry had ended their relationship.
It had lasted a grand total of two and a half months, during which Ginny had never felt happier. Or at least, she thought she was happy. She was sitting in dark corners snogging the boy of her dreams, and continually in a state of euphoria when he was around, so why shouldn't she feel happy?
Because you're second best, she told herself bitterly. Harry had only needed a girl because of his break-up with Hermione. Hermione Granger was also a year older than Ginny, and a friend of Ron's and Harry's. Until the beginning of last year, when she and Harry had become more than just friends.
A new wave of tears surfaced as Ginny recalled more hateful memories.
Gods that had hurt. Sitting in the shadows watching the two of them pass notes, hold hands, and occasionally, when they thought no one was looking, kiss.
Those kisses had pained Ginny more than any of the scuffles she'd been through in her childhood, and having six brothers, all of whom were older and larger than her, she'd had a lot. If that weren't bad enough, she would have to suffer through Hermione's inquisitions as to why she was crying.
Ginny sniffled, and thought about the pretty, brown-haired girl who'd been like a sister to her for many years. She'd been someone she could talk to, and unlike Ron and the rest of her brothers, not including the twins (Fred and George), Hermione seemed to understand when Ginny needed someone to talk to.
Then Harry and Hermione had broken apart, and Ginny felt like the sun was shining again. Even more so when Harry finally asked her to go to Hogsmeade.
Ginny's shoulders were shaking with the force of her sobs as she sat up on the bench, curling her long legs under her.
And now Harry and Hermione were back together, and Harry expected Ginny to be like his little sister again. Well, she wasn't going to.
"Ginny?" Harry's hesitant voice floated towards her from around the corner.
Ginny froze, and shrunk into a tiny ball, hoping Harry wouldn't notice her. Too late, she realized that he knew where this place was.
She managed to wipe her eyes one last time before Harry turned the corner and stood in front of her, looking terribly embarrassed, not looking at her and scuffing his shoe across the path.
Even hurt as she was, she couldn't help but admire him. She knew why half the girls in school (including Hermione and herself) swooned over him.
At seventeen, he had developed into an athletic-looking young man. He was tall, but no longer frightfully skinny. His shoulders were broader and his muscles more defined. His hair was the same as ever; jet-black strands falling messily into his bright green eyes, hidden by a newer pair of glasses, which set off the shape of his angular face.
Right now, those amazing eyes were staring intently at the rock he was kicking.
Ginny sighed. "What is it, Harry?" She said, hoping she didn't really sound as forlorn as she thought she did.
Harry looked up at her, concerned. "We need to talk." He said, seriously.
Ginny laughed, with some difficulty. "I thought we just did." She said, her voice straining.
Harry also sighed, and took a seat next to Ginny on the bench.
He took her hand, and smiled at her weakly. "Look, Gin, it's not you, it's me. You're a great person, you really are, but I need someone more mature right now, and Hermione and I have a lot in common, and…God, I sound terrible, don't I?" He asked, smiling weakly up at Ginny again, waiting for her reaction.
Ginny was sitting straight up, staring off across the garden. Mature? Who was being immature here, because it certainly wasn't Ginny?
Ever since the defeat of Voldemort at the beginning of Ginny's fifth year (without the aid of wonder-boy sitting across from her) Harry had been acting strangely smug and superior, although Ginny had no idea why, since Harry had been on vacation with Ron and Hermione at the time, and had completely missed the last battle.
So he thought that he was better than her just because he was older? Perhaps he was right, but she wasn't about to admit it. She jerked her hand out of Harry's grasp, startling the both of them.
"Yes, you do sound terrible. You never really were interested in me, were you Harry?" She asked icily, staring him in the face, which was going slightly pink.
"Well, you see, Ginny, it was, er, well, it's… difficult to…no. No I wasn't." He finally admitted, looking ashamed of himself.
Ginny was crying again. "Then why did you drag me around like you did? Knowing how much I liked you, how could you do that to me?" She nearly screamed, fighting to keep the level of her voice to a minimum. She stared at him for a moment, then leapt off the bench. Turning back to him, she paused.
"I only hope you don't hurt Hermione like you did me." She said, before running back to the house. That wasn't entirely true, she told herself, she only hoped Harry would say it was all just one big joke, and kiss her to make the tears stop. But she knew he wouldn't.
I have to get out of here. She had reached the back door. But where could she go? Harry and Hermione were staying with them until the end of summer in two weeks.
Suddenly, an idea came to her. Jenna! Perfect. She opened the door, and ran up to her room, already planning the letter she would send to her best friend accepting her offer to stay at her house over the summer.
Ginny had made several friends at Hogwarts, but none of them had understood her enough to be considered a best friend. That was until she'd met Jenna Werner, a Gryffindor female a year ahead of her, at one of the Quidditich games the previous year. They'd hit it off immediately; mostly because Ginny was (contrary to Harry's beliefs) more mature than the rest of the sixth years.
The vivacious black girl was incredibly shrewd and accurate. She accepted Ginny for who she was, and in turn, Ginny had had no problem doing the same. Jenna lived just outside London, and was an only child in a huge mansion, her parents being incredibly rich. Jenna's father was a pureblood wizard, who had married an heiress Muggle.
Ginny had only met Jenna's parents once, but they were abnormally nice and very much in love.
Bounding up the rickety stairs that lead up to her room two at a time, Ginny remembered the tearful parting the two girls had shared at the end of last school year, with Jenna promising Ginny that if she didn't beg her parents to let her stay with Jenna for at least a week, she'd be very much in danger of being kidnapped.
Ginny burst into her room, to find Hermione, sitting on the bed they were sharing. Ginny took in Hermione and could see why Harry preferred her. Over the past year Hermione had suddenly grown up, and was really, if not beautiful, at least very pretty. Her hair had calmed down a bit, thanks mostly to a very flattering new haircut that framed her face nicely.
Her slanted hazel eyes were surrounded by fair lashes, giving her an altogether, older, sexy look. Next to Hermione, Ginny realized she probably did look very immature.
She'd spent months obsessing on how horrid she was, but she never seemed to change. Instead of the curvy body Hermione possessed, Ginny was rather like a stick. She had no shape to speak of, and her chest remained annoyingly flat. She'd cut her long, flaming red hair in a flattering hairstyle that looked good on everyone except her, it seemed. And while Hermione's skin was unblemished and tanned, Ginny's pale body was covered in freckles. The nicest things about her, she thought, were her eyes. True, they weren't bright, or sexy-looking, nor were they even an interesting color, but they were large brown eyes, with specks of gold, and as Hermione had called them, warm.
What Ginny didn't see was that she was no longer a skinny kid. Unbeknownst to her, she'd become a young woman. When Hermione looked at her, she saw the real Ginny. Her skin was creamy, not pale, and her freckles gave her character. Her hair was gorgeous, set off by eyes that weren't nice, but beautiful. Her body was changing. Slowly, yes, but changing nonetheless. Ginny was actually rather shapely, though it was more of a slender athletic shapeliness, and had Ron not threatened half the males in Gryffindor to back off her, she would have found that many other people found her decidedly attractive, or at least rather stunning.
Hermione sighed, taking in Ginny's puffy red eyes. "So you've talked to Harry, then. Gin, I'm so sorry, you know I never would hurt you, it's just that Harry kissed me last night, and I suddenly realized how much I care for him…and, oh Gin, I'm so sorry." Hermione said again, standing up to wrap Ginny in a heartfelt hug.
Though she knew she had every right to be, she wasn't that upset with Hermione. She was ready to kill Harry, though. She just needed to get away from him for a while.
Untangling herself from Hermione's embrace, Ginny stood back. "It's not you, Herm. You've been like a sister to me, and I don't blame you. I just need to be by myself for a while." She said, giving Hermione a sisterly kiss on the cheek.
Hermione nodded understandingly, and left the room. Quick as a flash, Ginny was at her cramped desk, writing a letter to Jenna, asking if she could stay with them for the remainder of the holiday. Taking the hastily written letter over to the window, Ginny carefully unlocked the cage that held her owl.
When Ginny had turned sixteen, her parents finally allowed her to get a pet. Remembering the fiasco with Crookshanks, Ginny had dodged the cats, and spent some time deciding on an owl. She'd finally chosen a rather small female barn owl, which she'd named Belladonna, or Bella, for short.
Ginny now gave the owl a loving stroke, caressing Bella as she tied the letter to her leg. "Be a good girl, then, and take this to Jenna, will you?" Bella looked up at Ginny with piercing black eyes and gave her a deep hoot of acknowledgment, before taking off and disappearing in the distance.
Ginny sighed, hating the fact she would probably have to wait several days before Jenna got around to answering her. She was just contemplating feigning a deadly contagious disease for a couple of days to gain some alone time, when someone knocked on her door.
"Come in." she said wearily, hoping the gods it wasn't Harry.
As she turned around, she felt relieved, but only slightly, as the red-head in her doorway wasn't much better at the moment.
Her older brother, Ron, shuffled his feet, much as Harry had done earlier. "Yes?" She asked in a tired, and what she hoped, was a nonchalant voice.
Ron stepped into her room, and closed the door behind him. Showing incredible and uncharacteristic directness, he strode over to Ginny's bed, and sat down, facing her.
"Are you alright?" He asked, nervously.
When Harry and Ginny had first begun going out, Ron had been very adamant that Harry not hurt Ginny, or he could possibly lose his legs. Over the past six years, Ron had been aggravatingly protective of Ginny, so much so that before Harry, Ginny had only gotten as far as kissing and petting, mostly with a couple of boys she didn't really like.
Ginny grinned lightly at Ron. "Supposing Harry Potter dumped you, how would you feel?" She asked gently.
Ron went quite pink at this, and surprisingly, stumbled for words. "Well, Gin, seeing as how I usually don't date guys, especially not Harry, I wouldn't know, now would I?" He joked.
Ginny winced a little. Ron wasn't much of lady's man, and the subject was a little touchy. She forced a smile. Ron was trying to make her cheery, but it wasn't working.
"Ron, don't worry about me. I'm old enough to handle the ending of a relationship, especially one as short as ours. I wasn't really in love with Harry, so you don't have to fret over picking up the pieces of my shattered heart." What bull, Ginny thought to herself, but Ron seemed to take it, and even looked rather relieved.
"My ego, on the other hand, might be in need of a few repairs." Ginny said, jokingly.
Ron looked up at her oddly. "You're not going to go into that old rant about how ugly you are, are you, Gin?"
Ginny rolled her eyes dramatically. "Not unless you'd like to save me the breath and do it for me?"
Ron's eyes darkened. "Ginny," he said, grasping her shoulders, "you're beautiful. You really are. If you're going to fight me on it, fine, but you are rather pretty in a different way. And I'm not just saying that as your brother. Just because you and Harry split doesn't mean you aren't attractive."
Ginny stared Ron in the face, and surprised him by giving him a big hug.
"Ron, thanks for trying to inflate my self-appreciation and all, but save it, I'm fine with myself the way I am." She gave him a reassuring squeeze and stood up.
Ron exhaled, watching his sister little sister who really was attractive, leave the room under the impression she wasn't.
Dinner that night was hectic. Harry and Hermione were nowhere to be found, and Fred and George were showing a gargantuan amount of self-restraint over the issue of Harry and Ginny, but little remarks somehow crept from their lips.
"Fred, mate, could you please pass the plate of reject-I mean, bread?" George asked, his face straight and serious.
"Of course, George, but don't DUMP it all over Ginny." Fred quipped back.
Ginny was taking it all well, and even had enough cheer to laugh as Molly Weasley hit the twins over the head with her wand.
Arthur Weasley was looking frightfully relieved, as was Ron.
Ginny was chasing peas across her plate half-heartedly when Bella flew in through the open window. Ginny bolted from her seat and had snatched the letter before Bella had a chance to land.
Ignoring the owl attempting to right itself in midair, Ginny ripped open the letter, which was Jenna's response.
I thought I might actually have to drag my bum over there to kidnap you. But, thanks to your timely letter, I can pack away the handcuffs and gag until they're needed again (and considering my lifestyle, who knows how soon that might be?). I'm just messing with you. Mostly. But, that doesn't matter, because we can discuss this when you get over here! Mum said you're welcome to stay 'til school starts, and she can take us to the train, and Diagon Alley, if you haven't been yet. Oh, I'm so exited! So get out some Floo powder and get your bum over here! I'll be waiting. Ever affectionately, Jenna.
Ginny clutched the paper to her breast, then let out a whoop of joy.
The dinner conversation stopped completely.
Molly Weasley scooted back in her chair, and, tucking a bothersome curl of red hair behind one ear, stood up.
"What is it, Ginny dear?"
"Mum, you know that Jenna asked me to stay over at her place for a while. Well, she's just written telling me I can come over and stay for the rest of the summer. Our house is so small and crowded, and theirs is practically empty, so if it's all right with you…" She trailed off, looking up at her mother expectantly.
Molly Weasley was so glad that her daughter wasn't heartbroken that she immediately complied. Ginny rushed over to her mother, and after flinging her arms around her, she flew up the stairs to pack her bags.
Mrs. Weasley returned to the stunned table. "Well, at least she's taking all this well, don't you think?" Within five minutes, the table was back to conversations, except for a rather put-out Fred and George Weasley.
Upstairs, Ginny yanked her suitcase out from under her bed. She frantically pulled open her wardrobe and threw some overnight clothes into her bag.
Then she got out her magical trunk. Battered and worn, it nonetheless achieved its purpose. She hastily threw in her school clothes, some dress clothes, and all six pairs of baggy, worn-out jeans she'd inherited from Ron. Grabbing a handful of tees, she quickly made sure the door was locked.
She pulled open the very top drawer of her dresser. She smiled fondly at the new set of "intimate apparel" she'd bought with Hermione for her birthday (much to the obliviousness of Molly Weasley.) Ginny took out several bras and matching sets of knickers in different colors, and set them in a special compartment in her bag.
She then shoved some other necessities (toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, gel, and a few hair ribbons) into her bag and sat on the top, breathless.
She ran through a mental list of things she needed, and made sure she had everything. She slid out of her dirty pants and soiled shirt, and pulled on a nicer pair of pants that showed off the curve of her legs instead of hiding them. Shuffling through the mound of tattered tees, she found an old blouse in sea green which she hardly ever wore. Pulling it over her head, she glanced at her reflection in the mirror.
It still wanted for something. Ginny rummaged through her jewelry box, and, finding what she wanted, dumped the rest into her bag. She carefully pulled the emerald necklace Fred and George had bought her for her sixteenth birthday around her neck. It sparkled and shined.
There, Ginny thought. At least I don't look like I just rolled out of bed anymore.
She moved over to the window to get Bella's cage. Her hand froze. Well, there was the much debated new couple. Harry and Hermione were sitting side by side on the wooden swing outside Ginny's window.
Even stories above, Ginny could hear Hermione's feminine laugh at something Harry had said. Then silence. Ginny glanced down, then jerked her gaze away quickly, her cheeks turning a shade red, and her eyes watering again.
Harry and Hermione were locked together in a tight kiss. They wouldn't want to be bothered right now, especially not by her.
Lugging her two bags and Bella's cage down the stairs, Ginny shouted a quick good-bye to her family downstairs.
She made her way to the fireplace before Fred and George dashed into the room.
Ginny looked from one to the other, expecting some sort of practical joke.
To her immense surprise, Fred stepped forward and gave her a huge bear-hug, and set her down again only for George to do the same. They stared down at her fondly, and she smiled, through tears, up at them. Fred glanced around, and pulled something from his pocket and handed it to her.
Ginny opened it, and found it was like a photo frame, but a most blatantly magical one.
Ginny looked up at the twins for an explanation.
It was George who finally spoke. "It's a Lovers' Looker. Fred an' me made it an' we thought you might like it. Just place a picture of a loved one in it, and you'll be able to see them as they are when you look at it." George said, sounding very much like he was advertising one of the jokes he and Fred made at their joke shop.
Ginny stared at the Looker to the twins, and stood up on tiptoe to give each a grateful kiss on the cheek.
The twins pretended to blush and look bashful.
"Oh, stop it." George said, twisting his shirt tails, and scuffing the floor.
"We've gone all red now." Fred joked, peeking out from under his eyelashes.
Ginny hit them playfully on the shoulders before thanking them once more.
She tucked the Looker into her bag as the twins left the room, and then she grabbed a fistful of Floo powder from the jar next to the fireplace.
"Werner Place!" She shouted, and disappeared into the green flames.
"OOF!" Ginny breathed as she landed on the stone floor of Jenna's living room. Carrying her bags with her had been a difficult task to manage, and she'd barely stepped out at the right fireplace.
Ginny looked up from the floor. Into a pair of well-pedicured feet.
"Girl, you have got to learn how to walk some day." Jenna's low voice sounded from above her.
Ginny picked herself up off the floor, shaking dust and dirt off her clothes. She looked up into her friend's pretty hazel eyes, which completed the warm, cocoa look about her.
Jenna smiled her dazzling white smile. "Hey Gin."
Ginny smiled back with some difficulty. "Hey Jen." She said, and ran to her friend, bursting into tears as she was enveloped in a warm hug.
Two hours and several Chocolate Frogs later, a very red-eyed Ginny was sitting in a pair of flannel nightclothes on the edge of Jenna's bed crying silently. Jenna was stroking Ginny's hair.
"So, he called it quits, just like that?" She asked, incredulously.
Ginny nodded. "C'mon Jen, you've seen Hermione, it's no wonder he left me." Ginny sniffled, hugging a stuffed cat even tighter.
"Scumbag," Jenna hissed "that doesn't give him the right to treat you like dirt he can walk all over, Ginny. You've got to stand up for yourself. Your brothers walk all over you, Harry walks all over you. That scum Malfoy walks all over you. You need to let people know you won't take it, and please stop crying, I think you've just drowned Mr. Fluffles." Ginny looked up uncomprehendingly at her friend.
"What?" She asked, then followed Jenna's gaze to the tear-drenched cat Ginny was holding. She looked up at Jenna dubiously.
"Mr. Fluffles?" She asked.
Both girls broke into hysterical laughter at the same time.
Wiping away tears, Jenna tried to defend herself. "I named him when I was five, OK?" She yelled, sending them into another fit of laughter.
The next morning Ginny felt refreshed and pleasant. She stretched out on her bed, and opened her eyes. Crouched in front of her was Jenna, fully dressed, and staring at her intently.
Ginny's eyes closed, then flew open. "AHHHHH! Are you trying to scare me to death?!" She yelled at Jenna, restraining laughter at her friend's startled expression.
"Gods, I was wondering if you were going to sleep all day! I've been trying to send you messages through a psychic connection, but man, you were out. Now hurry up and get dressed, we're going shopping!" Jenna said.
Ginny was up in a second. "We're going to Diagon Alley?" She cried, excited.
"No." Jenna said, then hastened on at her friend's disappointed look. "We're going shopping in Muggle London!" She cheered.
Ginny's eyes got, if possible, larger. "Muggle London?! But I don't have any Muggle money, and I don't know where-"
Jenna cut her off. "Don't worry about it, I have my own savings account, and I didn't get you anything for your birthday, so consider this a belated birthday present. I know where to go, and we will go if you'd just get your bum out of bed!" Jenna laughed as the blur that was Ginny whirled by her yelling 'I'm up, I'm up!'
Within an hour they were strolling down the streets of London, Ginny's jaw hanging open as she stared at people and places.
"It's changed so much since I was here last. Everything's so different." She gasped as Jenna suddenly yanked her into a doorway, shouting something like; oh you've got to see this dress!
By the time Ginny's head stopped swirling, her arms were full of clothes Jenna wanted her to try on.
"Jenna," Ginny protested as her friend moved to the next clothes rack. "I don't have nearly enough money for any of this, I would never be able to wear any of these, and I can't just sit here and try all these on while you watch!" She said, barely able to see over the pile of assorted clothes in her arms.
Jenna turned to her friend. "Ginny, not to sound snobbish, or anything, but I have more money than I could want, you're my best friend, and I want to buy you clothes. I don't have room for anymore clothes. Besides, your clothes, while they may be comfortable, are not the most flattering. You've just broken up with Harry, you need to get back in the game and sting him back!" She said, throwing one last skirt on the humungous pile.
Ginny sighed. As soon as she got these clothes out of her arms, she'd use them to give Jenna a huge hug.
Jenna ushered Ginny into the dressing rooms, and practically shoved her into a small changing room.
Inside the tiny space, surrounded by mirrors, Ginny frowned at her body. No matter how expensive or well-made these clothes were. They'd never change the way she looked. She'd just be a skinny little scarecrow in designer clothes.
Sighing, she slid off her clothes and tried on the first outfit.
"Christ, Jenna!" She cried from behind the door.
Her dark friend was up in an instant hovering at the door. "Well, lets see it, how does it look?" She asked, quivering with anticipation.
"Like I'm half-naked!" Ginny's shocked voice sounded through the door.
She opened it, and Jenna gasped. "Oh, Gin, it looks smashing, oh you must get it!"
Ginny's jaw dropped. "Look at this!" She screeched, pointing to her outfit. Jenna did.
She was wearing a skirt, first of all, which was not her favorite type of garment. The skirt was a velvety black that ended just at the knee, swirling around them, accentuating the shape of Ginny's calves.
The shirt was a deep red, like a rich wine color. The sleeves were long, and ended in large slits. The top was a V-neck, dipping "shamefully" low, as Ginny put it. It set off her eyes, skin, and hair perfectly.
Jenna shook her head. "Ginny, I am looking, and what I see is a beautiful young lady in a flattering outfit, that doesn't say fuck-me, but see-me. And I guarantee, you wear that and people will see you. It's a gorgeous outfit."
Ginny smiled timidly up at Jenna. "You think so?"
Jenna smiled wickedly back at her. "Let's just say your brother's going to have a much harder time of keeping the boys off you this year."
Several hours later, with much more coaxing from Jenna, the two girls made their way out of the store, laden with bags of Ginny's new wardrobe, consisting mostly of form-fitting jeans and black skirts in varying states of shortness.
They were talking and laughing when suddenly Jenna stopped. Ginny's smile fell. "Jen? What is it?" She looked ahead and nearly dropped her bags.
Draco Malfoy was walking towards them, and had unfortunately already spotted them.