Five Things Blaise Zabini Hates about Ginny Weasley
i. She's too pretty for a blood-traitor; it's distracting.
Blaise is alone, in as many senses of the word as he can bother to think of. It feels a little bit like abandonment—but only a little, because he remembers what that's like, and he'd rather not think about it too much, thank you. It also feels a little bit like betrayal, if you can count that as being any different; but it's not, you know, an enormous betrayal, or anything. He's not some Hufflepuff who falls to pieces just because his best-friend-forever forgot to save him a bubblegum-flavored lollipop. He's a Slytherin, he's tough—he likes to think he looks a little menacing, too—and when it boils down to it, he doesn't actually need friends. He just enjoys collecting them, because it makes him look good.
But still. He wishes that Draco hadn't ditched him to go canoodle with Pansy, or whatever it is they do when they say they're going out for a walk, and that Theo wasn't such a studious ponce, and that Vince and Greg hadn't picked now to get sent to the Hospital Wing for food poisoning—and who knows, Blaise thinks; maybe they're canoodling, too.
He grimaces and shakes the image from his mind. He can wish all he wants for things not to have happened, but that doesn't make him desperate. If he were desperate, he might ask Millicent about her cat's arthritis, or challenge one of the Greengrass sisters to—well, it doesn't really matter, because they always win, anyway, even though it generally comes down to a game of who-can-cheat-better. And since he hasn't done either of these things, he's clearly above desperation; clearly, he enjoys being a Lone Wolf, and not just because the title sounds cool.
Right. Clearly. Even though it is a Saturday, and he's got all the time in the world because he's decided that he's above homework, too.
Maybe he'll have to just hex a Gryffindor, or something. It'll cost Slytherin a few points—if there are any witnesses—but it's all moot when Saint Potter's just going to swoop in at the end of the year and steal the House Cup. Everyone can practically get away with murder, now that there's no need for competition.
Blaise is about to round a corner when he sees someone wearing a Gryffindor scarf walking toward him from the opposite direction. He can't tell who it is, because there's a really ugly hat on the person's head, or something, but he doesn't care. It's almost too perfect.
He backtracks, plastering himself against the wall with his wand in hand, and waits. The Gryffindor is far enough away that there's plenty of time to think of the most satisfying curse possible.
He's got one in mind when he hears footsteps just around the corner, and decides that it's time to move. It's the Opportune Moment. He is about to employ the Element of Surprise…
Blaise suavely steps forward, wand outstretched and curse on the tip of his tongue, and prepares to turn his victim into a quivering ball of anguish.
He's met with brown eyes and too many freckles and a strand of shockingly red hair escaping from beneath a hideous, knitted cap. He's met with somebody who is, in fact, a she, and who's pretty—and this shouldn't be a problem, ordinarily, because a Gryffindor's a Gryffindor, and they've all got it coming, anyway. But somehow, it's enough to make him hesitate.
He doesn't realize that maybe he's made a mistake until he's flat on his back and knocked out cold.
ii. She talks too much; it really doesn't do much for headaches.
"OI! OI! OI! WAKE UP! OI! YOU ARE ALIVE, AREN'T YOU—OH WAIT, YES YOU ARE, I CAN SEE YOU BREATHING. OI! OI! WAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUP! COME ON, YOU BLOODY STUPID SLEEPING-BEAUTY-TWIT! OI! OIIIII!"
Blaise cracks open one eye, and promptly wishes for death. He takes comfort in the fact that whoever's screaming at him will probably get the job over and done with quickly enough, though, because each shriek is like a Bludger to the head. A head, which, incidentally enough, is already throbbing and is somehow juxtaposed with the floor.
He tries to mutter something, but he can't think of what to say, since even thinking about thinking sends the equivalent of a knife shooting through his left eye. All he manages, in response to this, is something akin to: "Glarrgh."
Which somehow makes the shouting stop. It's replaced by: "Huh. Took you long enough."
And then there's silence.
Blaise, who would really like to know what's going on, please, struggles to move himself into a more comfortable position. Now that his death's not a certainty, things like, oh, say, pain, have become more of an issue.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you. I reckon you hit your head quite hard; you might've damaged something. Y'know—more so. I s'pect it's good to know you're not dead, though—for me, I mean. I'm not going to get expelled. Maybe you were actually trying to off yourself, and I buggered it up. I dunno. You lot really do the stupidest things sometimes, so it's difficult to tell."
Blaise groans. Whoever's talking should just shut up and leave him alone to fester.
"And you really shouldn't talk."
This does it. He hasn't bothered to look at who's with him, focusing only on the ceiling—because it's directly above him and doesn't require any effort—but it's time for that to change. Blaise lets forth an angry snarl and, against his better judgment, sits up.
iii. She's too much of a Gryffindor; there's nothing appealing about martyrdom.
It's half in response to the formerly-unbelievable, monumental increase in pain, and half in response to the fact that it's Ginny Weasley who's currently kneeled down at his side, hat gone and red hair now spilling over her shoulders.
She snickers. "Well done, Zabini. And they say you're smarter than Malfoy."
"Get the hell away from me, Weasley," Blaise manages to snarl. And then winces—though just because spewing maliciousness hurts his head doesn't mean he's going to let up on it at all. Malice is a necessity (see: Slytherin Versus Gryffindor 101).
Weasley flashes him a grin that doesn't meet her eyes—not that he's looking at her eyes, or anything, because he's not, but there's a black, mutinous sort of look to them.
"Trust me," she snaps, "I'd love nothing more."
His eyes narrow. "If I were you—"
She snorts. "If you were me, you'd be halfway to Hogsmeade by now."
"Such a martyr," he sneers. He's not even going to bother to follow her logic, unless she tries to explain—and even then, she probably won't make any sense.
"Hardly." She rolls her eyes. "I'm only staying because you wouldn't."
Well. That's the most mature and intelligent sentiment he's ever heard. Leave it to a Weasley to come up with such a stupid reason.
Blaise tells her as much, but not in so many words.
Forget magic—she looks about ready to wrap her hands around his throat. Only then does he wonder what she actually has to stay for; he's alive, isn't he? Maybe she's preparing to gloat. He would gloat. And gladly. Anybody would.
iv. She's too annoying; (see items one through three for further clarification).
Weasley stares at him, her gaze softening as she chews upon her lip absently. She's infuriating. First, she can't stop talking, and now she doesn't speak. One minute she's happily insulting him, and the next, she's pretending to take care of him—all the while hoping to kill him. Apparently, she's completely unstable.
"You're pathetic," he informs her.
She scoffs. "And you're not? You're the one that nearly snuffed it 'cause you couldn't resist an opportunity to ogle a girl." She looks thoughtful. "You're a bit of a pig, you know."
"I didn't ogle you, you stupid blood-traitor," he retorts. Because he didn't ogle her; she just surprised him. There had not been, in fact, any time for ogling of any kind—and not that he would have wanted to, anyway. But at least there's the almost-gloating he's been looking for. His head throbs once more for good measure.
"And you can leave now," he adds.
"Are you deaf as well as stupid? I'm not going to merrily trot off just because you want me to."
She must be coming back to the whole 'spite' thing again, Blaise thinks, or whatever you call it when you're trying to prove that you're the better person. He's starting to get sick of it.
"That doesn't mean I can't leave." He can always be the one to do the trotting, here. (Who's the better person, now?)
Weasley laughs. "Go ahead and try. I'll be here to catch you when your back snaps in half from the weight of your fat head."
"I'm only winded," he says, "not crippled—learn the difference. And I don't need your help."
She pauses, pretending to listen to something. Or maybe she really does hear something—voices, perhaps; she's already been proven unstable. "Do you hear what I hear?" she asks. "It's the sound of an ungrateful git in denial. What do you expect to do, just sit here by yourself and suffer until you can hobble up to the Hospital Wing?"
That's the gist of it, actually, but he doesn't acknowledge this to her.
"Well," she snorts, "who's the bloody martyr now?"
To be fair, his plan isn't a terrible one. His head is hurting less, now that he's been sitting up for a while, and he figures that's a step up from whimpering on the ground like a spineless blob. Whatever hex she hit him with seems not to have had any other lasting effects upon him, either.
"Why are you here, anyway?" he asks, out of sudden curiosity.
"To badger you to death, of course. Why else?"
"Shouldn't you be slobbering after Potter instead of wandering the halls by yourself?" he presses on. "One might think you don't have friends of your own. Besides, it could be dangerous—"
"Yeah, as you've so proved." She rolls her eyes. "I'm so intimidated now. Remind me to cower in fear next time."
She hasn't answered his question. He tries a new tactic. "What is it about Potter that's got your knickers in a twist, anyway? Is it the 'tragic hero' thing?"
Weasley sets her lips into a thin line, and then she shifts, so that she's sitting cross-legged. She's settling. "I'm going to stay here," she says, "whether you want me to or not. It's not because I care. It's because I'm finishing up what I started—I'm cleaning up my mess, unlike what some people are inclined to do. You're a right wanker, but I'm not going to abandon you when I've just succeeded in buggering you up. So hurry the hell up and get better; I don't want to be here all day."
Blaise has a feeling that there's a double meaning to what she's saying, and he doesn't like it. Double meanings are for people like Theo—studious ponces—who have nothing better to do with their lives than sit down and dissect words until the Meaning of Life becomes clear. So he ignores Weasley, and the fact that her bottom lip is quivering just slightly, and glowers. He'll acknowledge that she's sticking around, but that's all.
"I'm not going to talk to you," he informs her.
"Fine by me," she shoots back. She scoots toward him, though, like a closer proximity's going to compensate for silence. Like it's going to be anything but annoying or solve any of the problems she's apparently having but seems to feel like punishing him for.
He rests his head in his hands, occasionally massaging his temples. He's glad that nobody's around—that Draco and Pansy and Vince and Greg are off fondling each other, respectively, and that other people are studious or have arthritic cats or would rather win a game of modified Russian roulette than venture out of their common room. But there's a part of him that's glad he's not alone, either.
Blaise puts his arm back, palm flat against the floor, and leans until it's supporting his weight; his body, unconsciously, subtly tilts toward hers.
At the same time, they each manage to heave a sigh.
v. Her company isn't all that bad.