All credentials go to JK Rowling. I own nothing but 22 years, two cats and a mirror. Vain creatures.
Yes...I wrote a new chapter, YEARS later. Would love any new reviews on how my writing style has changed, anything that has perhaps got worse or better and suggestions on improvements. Please! Go check out my own hand at writing original fiction on the sister site where I write under the name annocci, and I cherish any reviews/criticism I may receive there as well.
Love you all !
Something the seventeen year old Slytherin had learned in his short time on this planet, was that things did not always go as planned or necessarily in any sort of linear fashion. As much as he would like to have dedicated some time to his schemes against the bane of his existence, there were bigger things at stake and this was how he found himself at the dark doorway in Hogsmade, a cold October wind biting the back of his neck like a lovesick vampire. Looking over his shoulder, he checked the nearly deserted streets for any of the usual gaggle of giggly girls that would follow him around the more crowded streets and was relieved to see that he had managed to lose them somewhere between the sweet shop and the Hogs Head.
Knuckles rapped on the door, and he could hear the creaking of old floorboards within, the door swung open to reveal a decrepit old man that Draco would peg about as old as the house.
"The Malfoy boy...come in." The old man croaked, pulling the door wider and emitting the lanky boy into the cavernous depths beyond.
Sitting at the bar, a mug of butterbeer warming her hands and the friendly company of a certain bushy haired girl warming her soul, Ginny felt comfortable for the first time in weeks. Nothing like a little bit of normalcy to sooth the stress of being a newly minted prefect, and cast the shadow of doubt that had held her mind in its vice like grip.
"Mione, I honestly think that Ron will be appalled by that book...why on earth did you buy it for him?"
"Because I think he needs a little refresher course on the horrifying consequences of being so...vicarious." The brunette said, clunking her mug down a little too hard to effectively pull off her air of nonchalance. Ginny snorted and sputtered in her butterbeer, abdominal muscles aching from the laughter of the day and adding to her all about feeling of warmth.
"Someone sounds a little bit jealous."
Heads whipped around , and Ginny cast a benevolent smile to a certain dark haired boy as he pushed up to the bar between the two witches. Hermione turned a pleasant shade of ochre, before standing up abruptly and nearly knocking her parcels off the bar beside her.
"I haven't the foggiest idea what you are on about." She said, her voice a pitch too high as she fumbled with her things and stood upright. "I'll see you both back at the castle." She said, bustling off in such a hurry that she had forgot Ron's present on the bar next to Ginny.
Harry picked up the ominous looking book, and wiggled his eyebrows at his girlfriend mischievously. "Think this will scare him abstinent?" He said, opening the tome to reveal a few nefariously named chapters. Frowning he closed it back up and pushed it toward Ginny, appearing to be a little unsettled himself. Ginny felt something relieve in her chest, and she hated to admit it but it was closely tied to her anxiety over Harry's growing need. Perhaps it would also discourage him from wanting to dip into her knickers, because she was growing weary of finding excuses to avoid being alone around him.
"I guess we will see. I will make sure to get it to Mione." She grabbed it and tucked it up under her arm, turning to slide off the bar stool and make her own hasty exit now that her mind had begun its awfully familiar churn of anxieties about her relationship. As if he had sensed it, she felt his grasp on her elbow to stop her retreat, and she looked over her shoulder at him.
"Hey Gin..." He said quietly, his green eyes dark with worry.
"Yeah?" She said, feeling faint as she held her breath in an attempt to quiet her screaming nerves. Had he noticed?
"Nothing. See you at dinner." He said smiling, and giving her elbow a squeeze in the manner of one being that was intimate with another, sharing their secrets and desires. A half smile and Ginny was gone, doing her best not to run away.
Attempting to shove the book into her satchel as she wobbled along the slick wet cobblestones, she found herself yet again getting her nose bruised by an unexpected solid object before her face. Gaze shooting upward, she felt her heart rocket to her throat as she recognized the blond hair and pointed chin.
"We have to stop meeting this way, one might start to think someone is doing it on purpose." The cool voice, that threatened to take her out at the knees and ruffled her feathers all at once. But when her brown eyes sought his gaze she found it distracted, and his hand brushed her shoulder as he side stepped around her. Leaving her twirling in the road way, to watch his retreating dark form. Curious...that comment had been much too quaint for Malfoy. Eyes narrowed over the bridge of her long freckled nose and she felt goosebumps rise along her skin, causing her to pull the hood of her robes up over her short red hair.
The draw to follow him was strong, and she only just managed to convince herself to continue her return to the castle. She had rounds with him that evening, and Ginny decided to prepare herself to question him rather heavily on all that time he was trapped with her company. Maybe...just maybe that would distract her from every other intoxicating feeling that seemed to bash her brains, leave her breathless and with a tingling anticipation that she just couldn't shake.
It would also distract her from her other problem; Harry. Wasn't it funny, how her problems seemed to revolve around boys? Seemed like just yesterday they were about which color she would paint her bedroom.
Dinner managed to go by without incident, and things didn't seem nearly as awkward with Harry as they had earlier and Ginny was starting to feel at ease again. Maybe it was just all in her imagination, and she was just feeling over stressed by the extra responsibilities of being a prefect this year. Meeting up with Draco by the moving stairs, she sat at the bottom step watching students returning to their dorms above for the evening, and twirling her wand absently between her fingers and thumb.
"Miss me?" A voice said, close to her ear, nearly making her jump out of her skin.
"Great Merlin! Malfoy, don't sneak up on me like that you asshat." She squeaked out, jumping to her feet and turning to face him. He stood on the step just above where she had been sitting and was still crouched down. She shot him a nasty glare for good measure, and tried not to admire the way his blue eyes seemed to sparkle when he was mischievous. Mischievous. Seriously Ginny? Did you just mistake his malice for mischief? He isn't Fred and George for crying out loud, he is Draco Malfoy! She broke the gaze, and fidgeted with the hem of her sleeve for a moment. "So – where do we start?"She said, looking sideways at him.
"Dungeons. Work our way up. And don't worry little Weasel, you can hold my hand if you get scared." He said, straightening up and jaunting over to where the stairs led downward once more.
"Highly doubt I will need to take you up on that offer." She grumbled, doing a quick shuffle to catch up to his lanky strides. The dungeons had always given her the heebie jeebies, but she wasn't about to let Malfoy know that, especially since his ilk tended to thrive off the cold suffocating atmosphere of the underground.
"Lumos" They said in unison, as the dungeons seemed to suck the light of the torches in the walls like a black hole, causing most areas to fall under shadow. Footsteps echoed off the walls, but the silence between them felt deafening to Ginny. Her mind whirled as she struggled to find something to say, anything to cease the silence that Malfoy himself didn't seem in any rush to dispel. Why was she so nervous around him lately? It was fairly unlike her, she clenched her jaw in stubborn refusal to feel that way any longer. Ahead the corridor dropped into the ground a little more, causing three steps to be needed to descend to the lower elevation, and it was just like clumsy Ginny to slip on the top step. Black docs made a squeegee noise as they lost traction on the slick damp stone, and for a moment she felt the vertigo of falling and adrenaline rushed to her blood. Already her mind was spinning around what the outcome of the fall would be, and she could almost already hear the laughter that Malfoy would let explode through the dimly lit corridors.
An arm snaked around her waist and pulled her tightly into a solid body, her cheek hitting their chest with a soft thud as they themselves tipped into the wall to steady the momentum. He had caught her? She moved her head, looking up at him for a moment with her fingers firmly grasping the front of his robes. He had caught her and pulled her into himself to save her fall, and the adrenaline rushing through her veins was just pushed all the harder as her heart began to beat frantically like a trapped bird against her chest. Ginny could almost swear he could hear it, it was so loud in her own ears in the quiet of the dungeons.
They were so close, all she had to do was stretch up on tiptoe, and close the distance between parted lips. He shifted under her, his arm dropped away from her waist breaking the moment. Clearing her throat awkwardly, she stepped away and turned a brilliant shade of red.
"Uh, ah thanks." She said, feeling like to make eye contact would only allow him to see written all over her face what had just been going through her mind. When he didn't answer right away with a snide remark, she looked up through her lashes to gauge what he was doing and was surprised to find a look of confusion and something else dark and intense in his eyes. Then he shook it off like a dog shaking off water, and turned way to continue the walk down the corridor.
"Be a little more careful would you."