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Chocolate Roses

Chapter Four:

During the feast, Ginny's eyes frequently sought out Blaise. She just as often met his gaze, and the chocolate pools created a fire inside her. Not quite the fire she got when Harry held her, but it grew with each encounter and would soon overpower the other.

She picked at her food, not wanting Blaise to see her eating like she normally did, like all in the Weasley family did. She took a few small bites here and there, and knew if she didn't eat more she would pay dearly for it later, but still couldn't bring herself to do it.

Snape stood up from the place that had formerly been Dumbledore's, successfully breaking Ginny out of her trance. She had once again been immersed in the eyes of the dark Slytherin boy. The hall quieted almost immediately, no one willing to get on the teachers' bad sides so early in the year.

Snape began to speak, but this start of term speech had a different air than any of Dumbledore's. "Students," he began, his voice dark and foreboding. "I welcome you to my school. I would like to introduce two of your new teachers, Amycus and Alecto Carrow. They will be teaching Defense against the Dark Arts and Muggle Studies respectively." He smirked, giving away the fact that the new teachers would not, in fact, be teaching anything of the sort. "Please feel free to remove yourself from the grounds or to explore the dark forest at any time you wish. Good night."

All of the students quickly removed themselves from the hall, realizing the dismissal and not wanting to stay in any of the Death Eaters' proximities as they went off to bed. Ginny, like the rest of her classmates, scrambled from her seat and vacated the hall. In the mass of bodies pouring out of the door, she managed to bump into Blaise, who smirked and winked at her. Her heart pounded and she felt her face flush. She was soon separated from him, though, as the students around her pushed through.

She followed the rest of Gryffindor up to where the portrait of the fat lady would have been. Instead of finding the cheery, robust woman, though, she found a portrait of a seemingly bad tempered old man who formerly lived in the dark dungeons.

"Password?" His voice was nasally and was threaded with dislike. She sputtered out, "Dusty Gnomes," and was allowed to enter. Though the guard had changed, the tower had not. It was still filled with the many happy memories of the people who formerly sat in the cushioned chairs, but it was subdued. Not even half of those people remained in their midst's.

Blaise was deeply troubled. Ginny's covert glances at him during the feast had left him decidedly excited and the run-in with her afterward hadn't helped at all. She had looked so delightfully flustered when she bumped into him it had taken all his resolve to not snog her senseless right there.

As his thoughts of Ginny became erotic, Blaise had reached the stone wall that protected the Slytherin dorms. He quietly said the password and sidled in. Many witches were eyeing his body appreciatively, each hoping that she would be able to fill his be that night. He ignored them all and delicately sat next to Pansy on the worn couch. She had been the only witch in the room to not ogle him, as she was reading a magazine as she lounged. She barely glanced at him as he became comfortable.

"Hello, Zambini," she said with no inflection in her voice.

"Hello, Parkinson," he said just as plainly. She was one of his few friends at Hogwarts who wasn't there just for his money or status. Draco was his only other.

"I heard you had contact with Draco during the break?" He nodded, so she continued. "How is he doing? He can't be having much fun." She didn't say exactly what was on her mind. Like all other Slytherins, she had a hidden meaning to her every word. What she really meant was, 'Is he still alive? Are they hurting him?"

"He seems to be doing fine. He admitted to not having too much fun, but he said he's okay." What Blaise really meant was, 'Yes, he's alive. I don't know if he's hurt but if he is then he's not bad enough to not be able to write a letter.'

She nodded and resumed her perusal of the magazine. Why she needed beauty tips from Witch Weekly he didn't know; she was pretty enough without spells. Maybe it was just a ruse to make herself seem stupid. Blaise wouldn't put it past her.

They only talked a little after that. They'd never had much to say to each other; they simply enjoyed each other's company. Anything they did say had a hidden meaning that only the other would get. No eaves dropping Slytherin would be able to decipher the messages.

It wasn't long before Blaise tired of the common room and retired to his chambers. He read one of the dark books his mother had leant him to read. It weighed about a ton and if left resting on his legs for too long made his feet numb. After that happened, he decided to officially retire for the night and slipped into his silk pajamas.

His mind continued to work, though. Long after he had heard the other boys come up, get changed, and drift off to sleep did he do so himself. It hadn't necessarily been a taxing day, but it had taken a bit out of him. Reassuring Ginny Weasley had been hard when he had wanted to jump her at every opportunity. Holding her had been worse. That train ride had tested every resolve he had made before coming to school. He wouldn't let himself get that close to her again.

Blaise didn't know it, but the Fates had a different idea.