Disclaimer: Everything belongs to JK Rowling except the dumb plot.

A/N: Fluff warning. Continuity warning. The action jumps from morning to evening and from this week to three weeks from now in leaps and bounds!

Severus Snape looked up morosely from his desk as his class of sixth year Slytherin and Gryffindor students filed in. He had been reviewing the names again; dismally aware that of all four sixth year classes, there was only one promising student to train as his student assistant for the following year. His current assistant wasn't the best potions student he'd had last year, but the young man had shown an aptitude for the subject and his personality was compatible with Severus' own. In fact, he was also a Slytherin.

He looked down at the names again, willing some other choice to be suddenly made available to him, but he knew there was really only one possibility. He looked up again, his eye drawn to the fiery red hair in the untidy ponytail. Lord, couldn't the girl at least make herself presentable? Small wonder that Potter had never looked at her twice, Snape growled to himself. Then he sighed, knowing that it wasn't Ginny Weasley's hair that bothered him. She was a very talented potions student, and smart as well. She was not an insufferable know-it-all, as the Head Girl, Hermione Granger was. But she was so damned cheerful! She always smiled, she encouraged her classmates, even the Slytherins, and she always had something nice to say. And she was a Gryffindor!

Severus knew that if he offered the position of student assistant to her and she accepted, he would not be comfortable with her as he was with Draco Malfoy. He and Malfoy often shared cutting observations about the various teachers and students. They understood one another. He was certain that the first malicious comment he made in her presence would bring a reproachful look and an equally nice observation from her about the person he'd insulted. Shaking his head, he called the class to order. This would be the final project these idiots worked on this year. It was also the most difficult. He had better get them started. Sooner begun, sooner ruined, he mused.

The sixth year students were cleaning up and class was almost over. Ginny had noticed Professor Snape staring at her several times. She knew she had got the potion right, but he was sitting there frowning at her again. Well, whatever she'd done to annoy him, he'd let her know soon enough, she thought. She left her Polyjuice Potion simmering, knowing that it would have to brew for at least a fortnight to be effective. This was their final project, and a large part of their O. W. L.'s for potions were based on the results. She wondered what they would be doing for the rest of the term. Probably written tests. Ginny wrinkled her nose and returned to her desk. Professor Snape stood as the rest of the class wandered back to their seats.

The tall, imposing Potions Master fixed them with his dark stare. "I must admit," he said in a dry sneer, "I'm much surprised that none of you blew up the lab this year." He paused momentarily as a girl in the back of the room had the temerity to giggle. She stifled it quickly when he looked her way. Then he continued.

"You appear to have successfully completed the first part of the Polyjuice Potion. Time will tell whether you did it correctly. You will be taking most of your written O. W. L.'s in this class while we await the completion of your potions. Bring extra quills, ink and scrolls from here on. Miss Weasley, a word after class. The rest of you are dismissed."

The students noisily gathered their things and rushed the door. A few of the Slytherins hung back, eager to hear the goody-goody get in trouble. Ginny pushed her book into her bag and slung it over her shoulder. Then she made her way slowly to Professor Snape's desk. She heard giggling from the doorway and threw a half-hearted glare toward the girls still standing there. They smirked at her, then looked over her head. Suddenly deciding they had somewhere else to be, they rushed out the door. Ginny glanced around and saw Professor Snape giving them a cold look.

Severus rose and frowned at the girls at the door. They were silly creatures, without a brain between the two of them. He had been surprised that Miss Weasley had actually noticed them, and was even more surprised that she had glared at them. Perhaps there was some hope for her, after all. Feeling only slightly more positive, he looked down at the tiny young woman standing before him. Yes, her hair was untidy, but it was clean and shining. Her clothes were second hand, but well mended and also clean. As he watched, she scuffed a foot, shifted restlessly, then looked calmly up at him.

That was very interesting, too. She was nervous, but not scared of him, as most of the young women and girls were. Definitely hope there! He almost smiled, but caught himself.

"Please, sit, Miss Weasley." Although the words were polite, the tone of voice was cold and hard. She would rather have remained standing, but she sat. He would probably drag this out, torture her with wondering what she'd done, so she might as well be comfortable. She watched as he sat, too, then checked his watch.

"I asked you to stay, because I have a question to ask you. Don't worry about your next class. I've already taken the liberty of having you excused, at least for the beginning of class."

Ginny grimaced a bit. If she was excused from her next class, he expected her to be here a while. She searched her memory for anything she could have done to make him angry, but there was nothing. The professor opened his mouth to speak again, but the classroom door opened at that moment. The man looked up and Ginny glanced around to see who had entered. The corners of her mouth turned down slightly and she turned back to her professor.

Damn, she thought. Why did Draco Malfoy have to come in right now? She didn't want him to hear her getting chewed out, but knew better than to say anything to Snape about it. He would probably just enjoy embarrassing her in front of his student assistant. It wouldn't be so bad if Malfoy didn't have a million things to make fun of her for already. And to make things worse, she had finally gotten over her hopeless crush on Harry Potter, just to develop an even more hopeless crush on Draco Malfoy! It wasn't that he was so good looking. She guessed his looks were okay, but she'd seen him in a different light when he assisted in Potions. He was smart and confident and could be really helpful when he wanted to. She sighed, knowing he would have a good laugh if he ever suspected her feelings. She crossed her arms and waited for the Potions professor to remember she was here.

"Ah, Mr. Malfoy," Severus said casually. "You're a bit early; I haven't had a chance to ask yet. Why don't you go into the back room and get things ready for the next class?"

Severus sat again, noting several things at once. First, although Miss Weasley seemed to have missed it, he saw how Draco's eyes had gone immediately to the young woman sitting before him. He also saw the disappointment in Draco's face when Weasley had turned her back on him. Then, even more surprising, was that her eyes had followed Draco when he passed to go to the back room. She had looked-ah, well, she had looked interested. Interested in Draco Malfoy? Things were indeed looking up. He brought his attention back to Ginny.

"Now, Miss Weasley, as I started to say," he paused and steepled his fingers, glancing at her from under dark brows. "You know that every year I select one student for special training to be my assistant in Potions for the following year?"

Ginny frowned again, and nodded. Of course she knew. Everyone knew it. And almost everyone pitied the poor slob he selected. Except this year, of course. Pity was not an emotion commonly wasted on Draco Malfoy. She wondered why he would ask. It wasn't as though-her thoughts leaped abruptly. He couldn't be asking her to be his next assistant, could he? She stared at him, realizing he was waiting for her to say something.

"I, er, that is, yes, sir. I know you do. Why?" Ginny was ready to panic. Surely he wasn't going to ask, right? She was a girl, and a Gryffindor! He only asked Slytherins, didn't he? Besides, he was mean and had a malicious sense of humor. She was sure she didn't want to spend her free periods here, slaving for him, having him insult her and browbeat her.

"As I'm sure you realize," he said in a slightly different voice, one less harsh and cold. "You are the best sixth year Potions student in the school. You learn easily and remember what you learn. But that would not be enough. You are also intuitive. What you don't know, you can guess accurately. That trait is rare. That is why I am asking you if you would consider being my assistant next year."

He correctly read the horror in the young woman's face. He smiled at it. Severus Snape had few illusions, and none concerning his students' opinion of himself. He could very closely guess what was going on in her mind, but now decided that she might just do, after all. He let her squirm for another moment, then spoke again.

"Of course, Miss Weasley, I don't expect you to answer now. I understand that you might not feel up to the challenge. It is, after all, hard work." He saw her face tighten at his mild insult. That had tweaked her pride. "But I will need an answer soon. My current assistant needs time to begin training you. I will continue the training next term, but there are many things he would need to familiarize you with before he graduates."

Ginny's mind seemed to have stopped functioning properly after he'd mentioned his assistant. Draco Malfoy would train her? That would mean hours spent together! Over the next several weeks! She couldn't face him for that long, she just couldn't! But, then again, he would be training, not sniping at her. She could at least spend some time with him before he would be gone for good. But if she said yes, she would be committed (and probably should be committed to St. Mungo's for even considering it!) for her entire seventh year. Could she stand Professor Snape in such large doses? Her attention wandered to the door to the supply room, behind Snape's desk. Almost as though on cue, the door opened and Malfoy walked through. He had removed his robe and was in shirtsleeves and tie, holding a large jar.

"Excuse me, sir, is there any more powdered bicorn horn, or should I order some?" he asked. Ginny watched him from under lowered lashes as he approached the Potions Master.

Professor Snape took the jar and hefted it. He shook his head.

"Someone added far too much to their Polyjuice mixture. There should have been several cups left." He glanced quickly at Ginny, who had jumped up and now looked at all the cauldrons, quietly simmering away on the desks.

"Shouldn't we, er, evacuate, Professor? Or is there some way to diffuse the effect without ruining the potions?" she asked cautiously. Bicorn horn was very volatile and using too much in Polyjuice potion could cause an explosion. She looked from Malfoy to Professor Snape in confusion. They were both smiling at her. Then she realized it must have been a little joke. But that didn't seem right, as neither of them was smirking; they were just giving her pleased smiles.

"Very good, Miss Weasley. I didn't realize Mr. Malfoy was going to test you, but you passed with flying colours. Do you still need to think about it, or can you give me an answer now?"

Ginny gave both males a slight frown, then moved around the desk to take the jar from Professor Snape's hands. It was quite heavy. There was plenty of bicorn horn left. She thrust the jar back into Malfoy's arms and glared at him. His smile faded. Ginny spun back to the professor, feeling a stab of satisfaction as she felt her flying ponytail smack Malfoy. She didn't glare Professor Snape, quite, but came as close to it as she thought she could get away with.

"I'm sure I'll regret it, but since neither of you seems to think I can do it, I'll be glad to! When do we start?"

Severus had to give her credit. He had totally missed the streak of obstinacy in her personality. If nothing else, at least the next four weeks would be interesting. "I've heard it said that there is no time like the present, Miss Weasley. So if you think you can control your temper and not do grave injury to Mr. Malfoy for his little 'test', I should like him to get you familiar with what I expect right away." He shifted his eyes over her head. "Do you think you can handle it, Mr. Malfoy? Or should I send in a body guard?"

Ginny laughed, surprised, but tried to disguise it as a cough. Malfoy still had a nasty temper and she didn't want to be on the receiving end of it.

"I imagine I can handle Weasley," Malfoy drawled in a superior tone that caused Ginny's laugh to become a splutter of indignation.

Severus laughed and scooped up some files from his desk. "Very well," he said, moving to the door. "I will leave you to it."

Ginny watched the door close, then felt Malfoy's eyes on her. She turned to him slowly, feeling awkward and tongue-tied now that she was alone with him. He wasn't smiling, but he wasn't smirking or sneering, either, so that was an improvement. He seemed to be waiting for her to say something, so Ginny cleared her throat and said, "Well, where do we start?"

He still didn't say anything. He looked her over, starting from her messy hair, down her freckled face to the used robe and down to her toes. Then he looked back at her face, which was now attempting to match her hair color. Ginny narrowed her eyes at him, and Draco realized he'd been staring.

"Well?" she snapped. "Do I pass inspection?"

"Absolutely," he answered quickly, then turned and hurried back to the supply room. He could feel warmth in his own cheeks and didn't want her to see this unexpected reaction.

"Er, back here, Weasley. I'll show you where Snape keeps everything." He set the jar of powdered bicorn horn on a shelf and took a deep breath. Give it up, man, she hates your guts, he told himself. He'd given her every reason to hate him, he knew, over the last several years. But seeing her in class, he'd seen a side of her he hadn't noticed before. The bright red hair and freckles were still there, but he now saw the soft brown eyes, the clear complexion, and the facial structure that wasn't beautiful, but was very attractive to him. It didn't hurt that she was smart, capable and had a great sense of humor when she was talking to anyone but him. Finally feeling that he was back in control, he turned around. She was standing just inside the door, ready for a quick get-away, he thought. Gritting his teeth, Draco began pointing out some of the more commonly used items, explaining about ordering more supplies, and some of Professor Snape's more important expectations.

Ginny asked some questions, but was a bit overwhelmed with the information, her new position, and being so close to Malfoy. She found that when he spoke normally, without that insufferable drawl, he had a nice voice. And she loved the way he moved. He was very graceful for a boy. He moved like a cat. It was very hypnotic. It was also dead sexy. More than once she caught herself drifting away from what he was saying just to watch him move around. But luckily for her, he never caught her staring. By the time the hour was over, Ginny thought she might actually enjoy this.

Ginny sat in the library, trying to study for her Defense Against the Dark Arts finals, but going over the last few weeks instead. She had discovered that being Professor Snape's assistant was going to be a lot of work, but it was going to be vastly more interesting that frittering away her free time next year hanging about the library or common room. She also discovered that he expected her to report to school a week early to help him get everything ready for the new year. She didn't mind that at all, since they were supposed to visit Bill's family and she couldn't stand his wife. The woman was thin and sharp and razor tongued. Ginny couldn't see what Bill saw in her, but he seemed happy, so Ginny just avoided her when she could.

The image of another thin, sharp face rose in her mind. But this face was one Ginny had grown to like very much. This one had a hard mouth, but one that could break into the sexiest smile she'd ever seen. She thought about the soft, silvery hair and gray eyes and tried to tell herself she was being stupid again. Draco (they had been on first names for a few days, now, although it still felt strange) would be gone in a week and a half, and Ginny would probably never see him again. She thought back over the last few weeks. Draco had been training her a bit most every day, including the weekends. The only days he did not set some time aside for her training were Tuesdays and Thursdays. When Ginny asked, he told her he spent the time practicing his fencing and boxing. She'd been fascinated. And Ginny had discovered that both Snape and Draco had a sense of humor, although it was somewhat malicious. Sometimes they got her laughing and she couldn't stop. They were quite merciless with her. She would have to stuff her ears and squeeze her eyes shut so she couldn't see or hear them. Then, when she would finally stop laughing, she would open her eyes to see them laughing at her. It was embarrassing, but the last time it happened, she placed a tickling hex on them until they were begging her to stop. She tortured them for a bit longer, and then removed the spell. Other than Professor Snape observing dryly that it was poor form to hex one's teacher, nothing was said. But she felt like she had been completely accepted after that.

Things were going well for Ginny, even if Draco treated her like a mate rather than a girl. He was careful not tease her about anything at all personal. After he had told her about his boxing and fencing, she had commented that perhaps she would have to take up a sport to stay in shape. Draco had said in an off-hand way that she didn't need to work at it, she appeared to be in good shape already. Ginny had blushed and flashed him a sideways glance. Draco had frozen up suddenly, and quickly changed the subject. He'd never made a personal comment to her after that. She decided that her infatuation had been obvious to him and he didn't want to encourage her. That was all right, though. As long as she still got to spend time with him, she would be satisfied.

Ginny had only one thing to complain about. Harry Potter had finally noticed that she was alive. Since the day she'd accepted Professor Snape's offer, Ginny had begun to notice her own appearance more. She let one of the girls in the dorm cut her hair in a more flattering style, she wore a touch of lipstick and eye shadow, she dug out the best of her robes and started wearing it more often, and she even polished her shoes. She knew it was because she would be seeing Draco every day, but she had not expected anyone, even Draco, to notice. The fact that Harry and several other boys now looked at her with more than friendly interest made Ginny uncomfortable. Flattered, but uncomfortable.

Ginny's feeling of warmth evaporated. It was almost dinnertime and she had to go back up to Gryffindor to put her books away and wash up. Harry had taken to hanging about, trying to catch her for a private word. She had taken to avoiding him or moving in the kinds of packs that Ron and Harry had complained of a few years before. Ginny gathered her books and left the library. She was passing through a relatively unused portion of the castle, moving back toward Gryffindor Tower, when she heard her name.

"Ginny, over here!" Ginny turned and saw Harry leaning against the wall next to one of the classroom doors. She sighed. She might as well see what he wanted or he would be bothering her all night. She walked over and was about to ask what he wanted when he grabbed her arm and pulled her into the classroom.

"Harry!" she gasped. "What on earth--," the rest was cut off as Harry closed the door and pushed her against it. Then he covered her mouth with his. If Ginny hadn't already fallen for Draco, perhaps even if she hadn't had a chance to get to know him better, Harry's soft, sweet kiss might have changed her mind. He held her shoulders gently, careful not to hold too tightly or press himself too closely. Ginny brought her hands to his shoulders and felt a pang of regret when she felt him shudder. Then she pushed him away.

Harry slowly opened those beautiful green eyes and looked sadly at Ginny.

"I waited too long, didn't I?" he asked, his voice filled with the same regret Ginny had felt. The 'if only' kind of regret.

"I'm afraid so," she answered. "I'm sorry, Harry."

Harry looked away and nodded. "Do, uh, I get to know who the lucky guy is?" he asked with a trace of bitterness in his voice.

Ginny flushed. She certainly couldn't tell him that his rival was also his worst enemy. Even though Draco didn't follow Voldemort, Ron and Harry still hated him. Besides, she might be wild about Draco, but he treated her like a kid sister most of the time, so she couldn't honestly tell him about Draco. She looked away and said, "There isn't anyone else, Harry. It's just that I guess I finally realized you weren't interested. I've moved on."

Harry looked quickly at her. "So, if there isn't anyone else, maybe I still have a chance?"

Ginny shook her head. "Like I said, I've moved on. I'd still want to be friends, but if you wouldn't, I understand."

Harry looked down at her face and brushed away the soft bangs. "It shouldn't have taken a haircut and makeup for me to see you, you know. You deserve someone who sees behind that. If all I can have is friendship, I'll take it." He held his hand out and Ginny took it with a smile.

"May I escort you to dinner?" Harry asked with a courtly bow.

"I'd be honored," Ginny returned with a curtsey. Laughing, they exited the classroom arm in arm.

Draco watched them leave the classroom. He scowled darkly. He'd waited too long to let her know how he felt. Now Potter had decided he wanted her after all. Draco seethed. He'd thought the new hairstyle and make up were nice, but he'd liked her before. Now every idiot in the school seemed to want to hang about her. He thought she would see right through the lot of them, but he was wrong. She was not interested in him. It had been Potter all along. Draco thought that the next week and a half might be the longest in his life. He would have to work with Ginny nearly every day, knowing she was counting the minutes until she could be with Potter again.

He turned back the way he'd come. He wished the impulse to find her just to talk to her had never struck him. He wished he'd just stayed down in Slytherin, even five minutes longer. Then a base, evil thought struck him. No, don't even think about it, he told himself firmly. But the seed of a plan had been planted, and he was just hurt enough to see it through.

"Well, I must admit that I'm more surprised than I can tell you," Professor Snape drawled in a bored voice. Three weeks ago, Ginny would have been disappointed at his reaction to the success of the entire class. The Polyjuice potions had all worked. Some had been less effective than others, but all had changed the physical appearance of the drinker to match that of the person who's hair had been added. Now, however, Ginny realized that by his very appearance of boredom, Professor Snape was hiding his excitement. He was well pleased with the class.

Ginny was pretty pleased, too. Her own Polyjuice potion had lasted the entire hour, although she had forgotten that the friend who'd lent her a hair was twenty pounds heavier and Ginny had spent an uncomfortable period of time in a too tight brassiere and underpants. Her friend, using one of Ginny's hairs, had floated in her own large robes for about fifteen minutes before the effect wore off. They had laughed and enjoyed the class and the only negative thing that had happened was that Draco hadn't been here to laugh with her. She'd expected him to come to their class that day, but he must have had something else to do.

Professor Snape finally dismissed the class, saying that his assistant would take care of the extra potion. Ginny stayed behind a moment, offering to help, but Snape waved her off.

"Your History of Magic professor is quite angry enough with me. It seems you didn't do as well on your finals as he expected."

"But I only missed three answers!" Ginny said, indignant.

Snape smiled. "Ah, but he expected a perfect score. So, off you go and Mr. Malfoy will finish up here."

Ginny turned and saw Draco entering the room. She smiled at him, but he didn't smile back. In fact, he brushed right past her when she would have spoken. Her smile faltered. Gathering up her things, she gave him one last, hopeful look, but he was ignoring her. Dejected, Ginny left the room. Neither she nor Draco noticed their professor closely watching them.

Severus pondered for several minutes in silence. He was a keen observer of others. He had seen the interest Potter had shown to Weasley lately. He had also noticed the stiffness between the two of them the previous evening. Something had happened. Severus made a very accurate guess based on their expressions and gestures. Apparently Draco must have seen something, but didn't have all the facts. Severus steepled his fingers and wondered what Draco would do. That the boy had a plan of some sort was obvious, with the way he avoided Weasley's eyes. Severus would just have to find out what it was, then intervene if necessary. If not, he would just sit back and enjoy the show.

"Mr. Malfoy," he said casually. "A word, please."

Ginny felt depressed. She and Harry had settled everything, but now Draco was avoiding her. She didn't know why. She couldn't think of what she'd done. Maybe he had guessed her feelings and wanted to avoid the same sort of confrontation Ginny had just had with Harry. She hadn't seen him since this morning, and they weren't supposed to work together again until tomorrow. She supposed she could just ambush him after dinner, but that would be too embarrassing. She would just have to wait.

Ginny glanced at her watch and gasped. She would be late for dinner! She rushed from the library and headed toward Gryffindor at almost a trot. She was rushing along so quickly that when she rounded a corner she almost barreled into Harry.

"Good Lord, where have you been?" he demanded, grabbing her shoulders roughly and stopping her dead in her tracks.

Ginny's eyes widened. She had never heard Harry use that tone of voice before. And he looked so angry!

"What's wrong? Were you looking for me?" she asked. Could something have happened to Ron?

Harry didn't answer, but glanced around the corridor. He then released one of her arms, but pulled her along the passageway to one of the doors. It was the same room he'd dragged her into yesterday. He pulled her in and slammed the door shut behind them.

"That's enough, Harry!" she said angrily. "This dragging me about is becoming quite boring!"

"You didn't seem to mind yesterday," he snapped at her. Ginny looked sharply at him.

"What do you mean?" she asked, looking him over carefully. Instead of taking the thick glasses off and polishing them as Harry usually did when nervous, he only advanced on her, slowly, stealthily, as though he were a jungle cat stalking his prey. That wasn't the only thing wrong, either. He wasn't wearing his tie, and his shirt collar seemed slightly too large. She glanced down and saw that his robes were dragging on the ground, as though he had shrunk an inch or two. Ginny backed up until she was trapped against the wall.

"You didn't seem to mind being dragged in here yesterday," he growled. "In fact, you seemed to enjoy it!"

Ginny stared at him. He was only inches away and moving closer. She put her hands on his chest and held him away.

"Who are you," she asked suddenly. He stopped and took a step back.

"What do you mean? You know who I am!" His voice was just the tiniest bit uncertain.

"I know who you look like," Ginny answered. "But you are not Harry Potter. Who are you?"

He gave a small laugh, as though humoring a child. "Who would you like me to be?" he asked in a low voice.

Ginny felt a tingle down her spine. It was Harry's voice, but the words belonged to someone else. She leaned forward slightly.

"When does the potion wear off?"

He glanced at his watch before he could stop himself. He laughed again.

"Let's pretend that I'm really not Harry Potter," he said. "If I wasn't really Harry, I'd say that the potion would wear off in about five minutes. I can think of a lot of interesting things to do for that five minutes."

He leaned toward her, his lips almost brushing hers. Ginny backed against the wall again.

"All right," she said agreeably. "Let's pretend that you're not Harry Potter. Why would I want to 'do something interesting' with someone who pretends to be someone else to steal a kiss? Assuming that is what you meant by 'interesting'. And why would you want to kiss someone who thought she was kissing someone else?"

He backed off again, the green eyes considering. "Since we're pretending, let's say that I thought this might be my only chance. Let's say that that stupid, blind git finally saw what was in front of him for years and that you still wanted him. Let's just say that, for argument's sake, I was willing to take what I could get, even if it was only this one kiss!"

Ginny thought for a second. His voice was getting louder and he was furious, that was certain. But at Harry or at her? She finally said, "Oh, well, then, since we're pretending that you're not really Harry, that would explain why you didn't know that I told Harry last night that I wasn't interested in him anymore. But that still doesn't -," the rest was cut off as he crushed her against him. His mouth crashed into hers, his lips moving over hers, his tongue probing her mouth, demanding that she part her lips. She felt a surge of heat wash over her when his hands gripped her hips and dragged her tightly against him. This was no sweet tender kiss, but a rampage of sensations she'd never felt before! She wanted to push him away, to make him stop. She suspected, but still didn't know who she was kissing! It didn't seem to matter to her body, though. Against her will her lips parted for him. His mouth moved greedily over hers, and she moaned softly. Her arms wrapped around his neck and she pressed more firmly against him. She felt his body stiffen, then he pressed her back against the wall tightly. His lips broke away from hers and he trailed hot kisses down her neck.

Ginny shivered, skimming her hands down his back and grabbing his hips, as he'd gripped hers. She tried to pull him even closer, and laughed softly when she heard his groan.

"Dear gods, Ginny, you're driving me crazy!" he whispered huskily.

She wedged her arms between them and pushed him away. She dragged in a ragged breath and glared at him.

"When your potion wears off, you'd better have blond hair and gray eyes or I'll tear you apart myself," she hissed.

He laughed and buried his hand in her hair. "I guess you'll just have to wait and see, won't you? While you're waiting, though," he trailed off as Ginny pulled his mouth to hers again.

She tangled the fingers of one hand in the thick, coarse hair. His mouth was moving over hers again, but more gently now. She felt him shudder, then his form seemed to slither under her fingers. She felt the muscles against her body shift, then reform. His hair shortened, tapering up the neck until it became silky and thick at his crown. She had to stand on her toes and tilt her neck back to accommodate his increased height. He pulled her against him again and Ginny could feel the trained muscles in his arms tighten around her. She smiled against his mouth, noting that his lips were now thinner and firmer. She pulled away and giggled as she looked at his huge gray eyes, magnified by Harry's glasses.

Draco smiled, too and pulled the glasses from his face.

"The git was blind in more ways than one," he said quietly. "How did you know so soon?" he asked as he let a hand trail down the front of her robe. She slapped his hand away, then reached up to wrap her arms around his neck.

"You didn't know that I turned Harry down. Obviously, Harry would have known that. And your face; Harry doesn't smirk or sneer or scowl like that. Oh, and no tie. Harry always wears one."

He gasped when she lowered one hand to delve into the pocked of his robe. She gave him a sideways glance as she pulled out a green and silver tie.

"That would have been a dead give away, don't you think?" she asked playfully.

He snatched the tie from her hand and stuffed it back into his pocket. He moved a bit farther away. "Lord, Ginny, don't do that! I want to just jump all over you when you look at me like that. That's why I had to stop teasing you. I thought I might attack you!"

Ginny smiled and closed the distance between them again, wrapping her arms around his waist. She laid her head against his chest and sighed.

She suddenly seemed sad. Draco wondered if he'd just insulted her. "What's wrong, Gin?" he asked, stroking her hair.

"You'll be gone in two weeks!" she cried, holding more tightly. "I'll probably never see you again!"

"That's not bloody likely," he declared, lifting her chin to look at her. "Do you think I'm going to fall off the face of the earth? I'll see you, in Hogsmeade or here in the castle. I'll be very busy on Hogwarts business, but if you think you can get rid of me that easily, think again!"

He lowered his mouth to hers again, and this time let his pent up feelings loose completely.

Severus passed by the door and paused for a second. No screams of murder, no furniture being broken over his assistant's head. They must have worked things out. He smiled and looked carefully around, making certain no one was watching. He quickly danced a small jig, then he wiped the smile from his face and strode away at his normal pace. He made a mental note to send Filch this way in a few moments, but he decided that things were definitely looking up.