Cannonball

Wandering the streets, in a world underneath it all...

Draco walked down the streets of Hogsmeade, the younger witches and wizards scattering before him. They knew what was best for them and Draco smirked at that. He would have even stopped and berated a few if he hadn't been on a mission.

A few days ago he had connected eyes with the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He had not noticed much but her caramel coloured eyes. He had briefly noticed her bright red hair, falling across her shoulders in soft curls, before she had been taken by the arm and pulled into a classroom by another boy that he hadn't even noticed at the time.

And as Draco turned a corner in Hogsmeade, he saw her again. Her hair glistened in the sun, looking like fire dancing across her back. He knew it was her hair, he had only briefly noted it but it was enough to recognise it again. Plus the fact that just as Draco had seen her, she had turned and Draco had recognised her eyes. It was definitely her.

He didn't even notice when a third year Hufflepuff boy ran into him as Draco had stopped so abruptly. The boy seemed more afraid of the fact that he didn't even say anything than he would have if Draco had yelled at him. He quickly scuttled away, fearful of his life.

Nothing seems to be, nothing tastes as sweet
As what I can't have.

She was laughing at something the boy next to her had said. He noted that though she laughed openly, it wasn't a real laugh. Draco was Slytherin after all and he knew when someone was lying. You could tell a lot about a person by their body language, however subtle it might be.

Draco's attention was then directed to the boy next to her as he laid a hand protectively around her waist. He noticed when she flinched but the boy didn't. But he knew who he was. As soon as he saw him he wanted to kill him, but not in the normal way he would want to kill Harry Potter. Potter must have been the one that had pulled her into the classroom when they had first laid eyes on each other.

He then realised he was openly staring at them in the middle of the road. He calmly strolled on and into the nearest shop, where he could still see the group through the window when he saw that Weasley and the Mudblood had joined them. He saw Weasley give something to the girl and then it dawned on him. She was the weasel's sister. What was her name again? He had never been introduced to her, of course, but had had a few run-ins before. He distinctly remembered a bad bat-bogey hex from the previous year.

Like you and the way that you're twisting your hair
round your finger,

He smiled a very uncharacteristic smile as he watched as she nervously twisted a piece of her fire-red hair around a pale finger. Her nails were perfectly manicured and he had a sudden urge to feel her hands against his skin. Did they feel as smooth as they looked? He wanted to know, and desperately.

He watched as she took a bite of what was most likely chocolate that her brother had given her. He couldn't take his eyes from her full, red lips as they took in the dark brown chocolate. He licked his own lips as she smiled, probably feeling the effects of the chocolate melting and running down her throat. He wanted to kiss her. Oh, so badly he wanted to kiss her. Kiss her lips, her throat, her everything. If he didn't have any self-control he probably would of just run out there and ravished her then and there.

Her eyes then turned to him and the smile vanished. She had seen him watching her. The immediate thought that sprang to mind for Draco was that he wanted the smile to come back, and how her smile seemed to light up her whole face, not like the false laugh she had performed before for Potter. He unconsciously smiled at the thought of ways he could bring it back. She smiled back and Draco just nodded as if in approval. God, she was beautiful.

Tonight I'm not afraid to tell you
What I feel about you.

It was Potter then that looked at the window but Draco had already shrunk back out of view in the hordes of children looking for something or other in the shop. Draco hadn't taken notice of the shop before but it turned out to be Honeydukes. He smirked as he went about his business, with anyone who knew what was good for them getting out of his way. He strolled to the back of the shop and exited through the back door, he wanted to talk to her. He wasn't entirely sure how with the dream team hanging around her but he would, somehow.

He came down the alley way, beside Honeydukes. He should be able to see her at any moment. And he was right; there she was standing facing the alley and the Dream team beside her, with their back to him. He walked forward slowly, as if he was a spy about to approach his target. But he didn't need to go far as her eyes flickered up to meet his face. He stopped in his tracks and smiled. It wasn't the normal smile he would give someone, but this was a genuine smile, not something you would find often with Draco.

I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
and cannon ball into the water

'Now or never,' He thought to himself as he just stood there staring at her, taking in her beauty. Now he had a chance to stop and look, he was taking in everything about her. She had long, loose curls running to just above her waist, dark red and shimmering in the sun. She also had a soft sprinkling of freckles across her cheeks and nose, nothing too over the top, and pale, glowing skin. On anyone else Draco probably would have said that it was ghastly. But it was beautiful on her. It definitely suited her.

He could see she was starting to blush under his scrutiny and he formulated a plan, it was a gamble but she was worth it. He hadn't even spoken one word to her and… no; he didn't want to think about it. Thinking only led to trouble. He broke the stare to glance quickly up, through the buildings and at a rather old looking, run-down shack at the end of the village, The Shrieking Shack, and back to her. She followed his gaze and turned back to look at him when she caught on. She nodded and Draco nodded back. It had begun.


I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
For you I will
For you I will

About 5 or 10 minutes later, Draco was standing out of sight at the Shrieking Shack's side. When he came to the Shrieking Shack, he passed the front area where all the other people stayed, afraid to venture further and he stood around the corner. Draco knew the myth and the reason behind it. It didn't bother him in the slightest and hopefully it wouldn't for her either.

Sure enough, he heard footsteps crunching through the dead leaves and dry twigs that littered the ground. It was strange how nothing seemed to grow around this area of Hogsmeade. For a few moments there was silence then there was a timid "hello?" from around the corner. Draco smiled again, her voice resonating through his head like a soft and beautiful song, even her voice was amazing.

He followed the sound of her voice and soon saw her. She half smiled, seeming to be shy now they were actually alone together. Draco walked closer to her and saw when she took in a shaky breath as their eyes stayed locked on one another, grey to brown.

Forgive me if I st-stutter
From all of the clutter in my head.

"H-Hi" Draco stuttered. She grinned at his words, as if stuttering was somehow romantic. Draco just felt awkward, but just for a moment as Ginny had taken a step towards him. Draco hadn't even noticed when he had stopped walking towards her, but now she was making the move. She was in control right now and he wasn't sure what he felt, but mostly it felt like… no, no more thinking, he was thinking too much, way too much clutter.

But after that initial thought, his mind seemed to go from thinking a million miles a second about everything as he usually did, to nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was numbingly pleasant. All he could see was her and he was content with that. He could just stare at her forever and never get tired.

Cause I could fall asleep in those eyes
Like a water bed.

Firstly, there were those eyes. Man, those eyes. Some would say her most striking feature was her flaming hair, but not Draco. The thing he liked most about her was her eyes. The caramel coloured orbs that seemed to make you melt with just one look; one of those looks that could stop anyone in their tracks. You could get lost in them, just stare at them and feel like you could stay like that forever.

Then there were her full, red lips. For Draco, he just wanted to snog her senseless. Take her around the waist, pull her luscious body to his, cup her pale, radiant cheeks in his hands and bring his mouth down onto hers. He wanted to know what it would be like to touch her, to kiss her gently, to kiss her until they couldn't breathe.

He was getting lost in her already and they had only technically said one word to each other. She was so close now, he could taste her already. But before he could do all those things he was dreaming about, she spoke to him. It was in her soft, silky voice that she spoke in hardly a whisper. Maybe it was because they were so close or maybe because she didn't exactly know what to say. Either way, Draco loved her voice.

Do I seem familiar; I've crossed you in hallways
a thousand times,

"I know you."

It wasn't a question, or an inquiry at all. But a statement, an honest statement.

"… and I know you."

He replied, matching her voice with his. It was rough and deep but low and almost raspy with desire for her. She might have known this as after he said it, she smirked at him, one that could have easily rivalled his own. But it wasn't an evil smirk as Draco would so often use against other students. It was a kind smirk, if that was possible. She was amused, she was beautiful, and she wanted him.

"Then I don't suppose there's any need for introduction."

And with that, Draco brought his lips down to hers and kissed her and she kissed him back.

no more camouflage,
I want to be exposed, and not be afraid to fall.

It had been a whole two weeks since the encounter at Hogsmeade and winter was fast approaching. Draco and Ginny had been meeting in secret a few times and doing anything but talking of their unusual situation. That was until Draco said the words that he never even considered saying to anyone else.

"I love you." He was shocked and confused even more so than Ginny seemed to be at hearing them coming from his lips. They had been quite happily snogging in Draco's private head boy room, Ginny curled up in his arms and quite warm together despite the icy cold temperature outside.

"What?" Ginny said after a moment's hesitation.

"I-I... I love you." He stuttered, trying to decide how it sounded when he actually said it deliberately. He would normally have said it sounded meaningless and somewhat undignified but when he said it to her, it just sounded… right.

"You don't mean that." She told him suddenly. That was not the response he was expecting of her. He had somehow been expecting her to fall into his arms and tell him that she loved him too.

"Yes, I do."

"No, you don't." She all but yelled at him. It sounded as if she was trying to convince herself rather than him. She got up off Draco's bed that they had been lounging on and went to the door, snatching her coat from where it had been carelessly discarded on the way in and walked out, slamming the door behind her.

I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
And cannon ball into the water.

They had avoided each other after that night. Well, more like Draco had been avoiding Ginny. He had laid it all on the line and she had thrown it in his face. Did she think it came easily for him to say those things?

It was a few days later and after missing his meals a few times, his stomach was starting to revolt on him and he finally decided to just take the chance. He walked into the Great Hall, taking a quick glance around the hall before walking to the Slytherin table and sliding in between Blaise Zabini and Gregory Goyle. He immediately went to filling his plate with the food in front of him.

Ginny had often joked that every male had a bottom less pit for a stomach and he smiled at the memory but it was quickly wiped off his face as he looked up. His gray eyes landed on the Gryffindor table and there he unconsciously sought her out. She was sitting next to Potter, facing Draco's direction.

She probably felt him watching her as her eyes raised to meet his. Caramel to a storm of Gray. She gave him a sad smile, not like the ones she had given him before. Then she looked away. Draco suddenly felt angry at her, how dare she just turn away from him like that!

He stabbed at his eggs and Blaise looked to him, concerned in his own unique Slytherin way. Blaise wasn't like the other snakes and Draco had instantly become good friends with him in first year, if anyone like him could have friends.

"She misses you," Blaise said softly so no one else would hear, catching onto Draco's line of vision and the problem. Draco had introduced Blaise to Ginny and they had hit it off straight away.

"Whatever." Draco snarled at him, extremely bitter at himself that he thought coming in here for breakfast was a good idea.

I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
For you I will

She sought him out after breakfast, finding him standing where the Dark Forest met the Lake. They had used to come down here a few times, away from prying eyes and it was the first place Draco had thought to go after the incident at breakfast.

"Hey…" She said softly, as if the silence in this secret place was sacred and should be kept. Draco took her lead, speaking just as softly but not turning around to face her, knowing that if he did he wouldn't be able to stay away from her.

"Hi…"

"How are you?"

"How do you think I am?"

There was a pause and Draco didn't know if she was waiting for him to say something more or if she just didn't know how to answer him so he just kept going, getting a little worked up now they were finally talking.

"Do you think it comes easily for me? To say those things to someone, to you?"

"No." She whispered, her voice cracking from unshed tears probably welling up in her eyes right then. Draco still didn't turn around. "I'm so sorry. It's just… Love complicates things."

Draco was silent, stunned that Ginny could say such a thing, a girl who was so full of hope and radiance and was always going on about the muggle romance novels she read and how her brother was getting married to that Veela and crap like that. Now she was saying that love complicated things? It didn't make sense to him.

"If you love me…"

"I do." Draco cut her off, hurt that she still didn't believe what he had said that night.

"Then show it. I don't want to hide anymore. Renounce your father and You-Know-Who and…"

"You think it would be that easy?" He cut her off again, this time turning around to face her. His face was full of anger, hurt and something that could only be described as love. She thought he never looked more beautiful than in that moment, so free of his usual mask that he wore all the time to hide who he really was. The mask that owned the name Malfoy, but right now he was just Draco.

"We, the order, can protect you, can help you. Just talk to Harry…"

"I'm not talking to Pothead." That was the wrong thing to say. Ginny snapped her mouth shut, crossed her arms and stood there, just staring at him. He couldn't stand it, it was even worse that his father's best Cruciatus Curse. He took a few steps forward, coming to stand in front of her.

"Please, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. Just, please. Gin-bug? Please."

"Then renounce You-Know-Who and declare your support for Harry. In front of everyone." And with that she left, the air behind her suddenly very cold in her absence. He missed her already, even if she was angry at him.

You always want what you can't have
But I've got to try

It was in that moment that he realised that he really did love her, actually love her. Spend the rest of his life with her type of love. He realised he would rather fight with her than make love with anyone else. This was the love that everyone was always talking about that only came around once in a million lifetimes.

But could he revolt against his father? Against Voldemort? If they ever found him, they could kill him. They would kill him. Could he risk that? Could he risk his life to be with her? Was she worth all of this? A lifetime of happiness with her versus no life at all. Yes, she was worth it. She was worth it all. He would give his life just for the chance to be with her.

In the short time they had known each other he had come to depend on her like he never had depended on anyone else. It scared him and thrilled him, it made him confident but shy and it made him strong but weak all at the same time. How can just one simple girl do this to him? Well, it was simple. He loved her, and that was all he needed to know.

He had to try and get her back. No matter what he had to do.

I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have.
For you I will, For you I will

For you I will, For you

The next morning, Draco told Blaise of his plan. Sure it was flawed, but it would do for a desperate man.

"What happened to the Malfoy I knew? The one that I could plot and scheme with and have no mind to conscience at all?"

"He's gone now. If I'm going to win her back, I've got to change."

"Change into what exactly?" Blaise replied immediately, "Change into Potter?"

That was a mistake. Draco took his collar fisted into his hand and pushed him against the wall. Blaise let out a small 'oomph' when he hit the cold dungeon wall but still managed to smile.

"There he is."

"There is who?"

"Malfoy."

Draco let go of his collar, his face calm and strong and strangely pale against their dark surroundings. In his black and green Slytherin robes, he almost looked like a ghost. That might also be attributed to him missing meals almost everyday. That was when Blaise knew Draco was serious. A grin came to his face and Draco looked at him with a perfectly arched eyebrow.

"What are you thinking?" Draco asked cautiously.

"I'm going to help you, mate."

"Oh, great." Draco couldn't help but put his head in his hands.

Blaise continued, ignoring Draco. "Ok, this is what we're going to do…"

If I could dim the lights in the mall
And create a mood I would
Shout out your name so it echoes in every room, yeah

The first time Blaise had said 'we', back in the common room, he had been scared. No, not scared, petrified, of what ridiculous scheme he had thought of. But when he had explained it, it wasn't that bad. Not like some of the other ones he had come up with that only made sense in his head and when he explained it to Draco, it made no sense at all.

But no matter which way Draco looked at it, it was still crazy. So crazy that it might actually work. It was all going through Draco's mind even when he was heading for the Great Hall after a restless night. The lack of sleep probably wasn't a good thing but it only seemed to make him more determined. Draco was lost in thought until voices up ahead seemed to shake him from his contemplations.

He instantly recognised the voice that was speaking. It was Potter. Draco wasn't sure who he was speaking to, but his voice seemed concerned, almost genuine, but not quite. Draco had a knack for picking these things up and Potter seemed a little too happy to be fully sympathetic in his words.

"I'm really sorry." He was saying. Draco stopped around the corner but didn't dare have a look around the stone wall in case he was seen. "You don't need him anyway."

"I guess you're right…" Draco's breath hitched in his throat. He cursed Merlin out loud in his shock, then covered his mouth to prevent further psychotic outbreaks on his part. It was Ginny's voice, that sweet innocent sing-song voice that seemed to lift Draco high up in the clouds every time he heard it. Draco swore to himself again as he noticed the voices had stopped and a moment later, footsteps coming closer, deafening to his ears as if it was his doom approaching him.

Draco saw her fiery hair before her, It was like a halo around her soft skin and for the second time in five minutes, Draco's breath hitched again. Her caramel coloured eyes grew wide at the sight of him and they stood there, staring at each other for a few moments as if soaking in all the small details about each other before she turned back to call around the corner.

"It's nothing, probably just Peeves." She called, most certainly to Potter. "I'll meet you down there, ok?" Draco heard a confirmation and footsteps growing softer before Ginny turned on him.

"Are you following me now?" She asked incredulously of him, her hands going to her hips. Of the few times he had seen her mother, right now, he was sure that Molly Weasley would be proud.

"No, of course not." He said, putting a wall up again from his momentary lapse of mask. She kept calm, a cold exterior that seemed impenetrable, but Draco couldn't help but smile. He taught her how to do that.

"What's so funny?" She hissed.

"I love you." Those words came out before Draco could stop them. In his mind he had come up with a come back to the question but it seemed his lips thought otherwise. With Ginny briefly stunned, Draco took his chance. "I'm going to do it. I'll do anything for you; I want to you to know that."

"I don't believe in you anymore."

"Well, I believe in us." He said simply and with that, he took her small hand in his and lead her around the corner and down the staircase leading to the Great Hall.

That's what I'd do,

That's what I'd do,
To get through to you

Draco hadn't really been thinking when he had taken Ginny's hand and lead her down the stairs. He almost got caught in the trick step but remembered just in time to skip it and not make a total fool of himself when he had just, seemingly, taken control of the situation. That would have been a complete humiliation on his part. But as he walked down the steps, Ginny in tow, he was thinking, 'what the hell did I do that for?' He could have just talked it out then and there, and with his charming Slytherin ways, forgotten about the "plan" and talked his way out of trouble with her. But whenever she was around, his mask just seemed to fall and his passion seemed to override all other sense of control within him.

Draco could hear her behind him, her voice not so silky anymore as she screamed curses at him and tried to get his grip off her but he was stronger than her despite her constant quidditch training and after a few moments of wild thrashing, she haughtily accepted that she now had no escape and fell silent, maybe a little too quiet for someone like Ginny, Draco thought as they stepped down from the last step. But Draco froze, the full comprehension now dawning on him. Ginny made a small noise of surprise, or maybe confusion, as she also came to a halt. Draco's grip became tighter and Ginny complained, trying without success to once again release her hand.

"What the hell is wrong with you?!" She hissed. Draco thought she might as well have screamed it as the doors to the Great Hall was but a few metres away from them.

"I'm… I'm trying to get the fact that I love you through your thick head." He hadn't meant to say it so harsh but he had needed to get it out before his lips froze again. Ginny paused, with a sharp gasp. 'Congratulations, you finally understand what I'm doing.' Draco thought, his eyes never leaving the large oak doors that stood between him and his doom, or his salvation. Either way it was frightening.

I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
And cannon ball into the water

"You don't have to do this." Ginny almost whispered now, probably fearing that if she said it too loud, Draco would yell at her again. She did care about him a lot but when they fought, it was like an old couple, and that scared her above everything else.

"Yeah, I do." Draco replied, just as softly. "If I want to be with you, then I have to." He looked down at her for the first time since their encounter in the hallway. He noted the look of her hair as it fell over her shoulders in those beautiful red flames and the softness of her hands and the glow of her creamy skin. He was picturing her as if this would be the last time he saw her. When he did go in there, he had no idea how he was going to do it, but he was. This could mean the end or the beginning. God, he hoped it was a beginning.

He started forward again, knowing that if he didn't do it now, he never would and forgot that he was still holding onto Ginny's hand. She gave a little noise of surprise and Draco stopped again, turning to let go of her hand again. He also went to apologise but the look Ginny gave him suggested that he stop procrastinating and do it if he so wanted to. He did. He walked up to the grand entrance and pushed open the doors to reveal a whole room full of students, and worse, teachers.

I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
For you I will

As they were late, many students turned to see who had been so reckless as to make this much of an entrance so late after breakfast had started. Some students were even finished and were beginning to leave. But there they all were, sitting at their houses all lined up at the long stretched tables.

His stormy grey eyes scanned the room briefly, noting the Golden trio sitting at the Gryffindor table, looking at him suspisciously. He also noted Blaise, looking at him expectantly, he was sitting with Pansy, probably to shut her up so Draco could go on with the whole of the plan without her input. But Draco still stood there. They were all waiting for him to do something, anything but he just stood there.

That's when he felt her again. She had slipped her small warm hand into his again. He wasn't sure why but that warmth seemed to run through his entire body the moment their skin touched and he felt a million times lighter than he had in a while. He chanced a look down at her and there she was, smiling softly up at him with her full red lips. He just wanted to kiss her, right now thinking that it may be true that doing is better than telling, maybe he should test the theory.

He snapped out of his daydreaming of Ginny's kisses from a sound from further up in the hall. Draco's eyes snapped around to fall upon not only the normal teachers, but Professor Dumbledore. Draco wasn't sure if he was in on this whole thing or not but right now it didn't matter. He was looking at Draco expectantly and he knew this was his chance. Most of the students had fallen silent now and were following Dumbledore's gaze to the large doors and Draco and Ginny standing there quite alone and exposed.

You always want what you can't have
But I've got to try
I'm gonna muster every ounce of confidence I have
"Can I have everyone's attention, please." His voice boomed out over the hall, the rest of the talking people now falling dead silent. Draco swallowed, his throat now very dry as he spoke. Ginny squeezed his hand lightly but Draco dare not look down at her, or worse, at Potter or his friends.

"I know most of you know me," That was the understatement of the year. Everyone knew Draco Malfoy, the prince of Slytherin, prefect and destined to be head boy and Slytherin quidditch captain. "and I'd just like to say that… I know I'm going to sound really crazy." He said the last bit mostly to himself, though he did realise that a few of the students that sat near him giggled softly. "But I have made a very big decision lately. I have decided to renounce Voldemort and my father." He noted that his voice did crack slightly on renounce though he did sound a lot more confident than he felt. The next part, though, would take all of his strength to say. "… and…" he paused and he took one look around the room.

No one was speaking, not even the trio sitting far from him, thank god. Everyone was shocked, probably or waiting for the second part of his lifechanging speech, if you would call it that. "… I announce my support to Harry Potter and the side of Light."

That one little half sentence took the wind out of him completely, or maybe it was the little figure that had thrown her arms around him as soon as he had finished, squeezing the last of his breath out of him. It was then, when Draco had fully comprehended what he had just said and the implications of those simple words, that Ginny crushed her lips down upon his, giving him the fiercest and more passionate kiss he had ever received. Draco wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her feet slightly off the ground and he smiled into the kiss, knowing he had just won the love of his life. It didn't matter the cost.

He parted from her for a moment, still catching his breath. He broke away to hear the sound of a deafening roar. It wasn't the sound of a thousand hexes been thrown at him, like he had expected, but the sound of applause, of cheering. And over it all was the sound of Blaise yelling out about how he was right, also trying to subdue a raging, red-faced Pansy at the same time with one hand firmly planted on each shoulder. He looked back down at Ginny, a true, genuine smile on his face.

"I would do anything for you. Now you know that."

"I do. I love you."

For you I will
For you I will

Draco was beaming so much his mouth was starting to hurt. That was the first time ginny had said she loved him and he knew it to be true.

"I love you so much," she continued, accentuating each word with a small kiss. "but I think you better run."

Draco's smile fell at the last part she had said, raising a brow in question. She nodded her head to the side, telling him to look over her shoulder. Draco looked and immediately saw one fuming Ronald Weasley, his skin the same colour as his hair, flanked by Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. Potter was trying, though admittedly not very hard, to hold Weasley back. Granger wasn't even trying, she had her eyes on Draco and she was taking no detours.

Draco then took Ginny's advice. He started back through the doors, though he came back for one more deep, passionate kiss with his love, before streaming out the door. He could hear Ginny's laugh and the cheering was still going on in the background.

This was definitely the beginning.

THE END