Ginny sighed, "We're stuck. My mum enchanted this room to keep it off limits to my brothers, so they wouldn't finish off all of the butterbeer. Which means that the door magically locks when you close it."
Malfoy blinked. Then he spun around again and aimed his wand at the door bellowing "Alohomora!"
When nothing happened he tried to apparate, but all he managed to do was nearly fall over. Looking increasingly irritated and slightly worried, Malfoy then tried a variety of destructive spells on the locked door, "Bombarda Maxima! Reducto! Incendio!"
The door remained impervious, and Ginny sighed again, "Stop trying to demolish my house, will you? My mum kept this room off limits to my brothers. You know, including Fred and George? We're stuck."
Her words only made Malfoy angrier than he had been before, "WHAT!! Weasel, I knew that you lot were thick, but this is too much. There must be some way of opening this door or else the room would be pointless."
Now Ginny was getting mad as well. What right did he have to talk to her that way? "Look, the door only opens from the outside you dolt! You need a password. Only my mother knows it."
Malfoy pulled out his wand and made an angry advance towards Ginny, but then he appeared to think better of it. Stowing his wand and breathing deeply to calm himself, he said, "Alright then, Weasley, let's look at our options. You could use a Sonorous charm to call your mother for help –"
Ginny surprised even herself with the outburst, but she couldn't bear to call her mother. She had told her mum that she would be careful and then she had gone and locked herself in the storeroom anyways. It was a complete replay of her eleventh birthday, and it still pained her to remember how long it had taken for her mother to figure out that she was stuck in the attic that time.
"Calling my mother would be absolutely mortifying…and moreover the loud noise would ruin the engagement! Besides, could you imagine the look on my mother's face when she found me locked in here with you?"
Malfoy pretended to look pensive,"Mmmm…yes! And as far as ruining the engagement goes, who really cares?"
"People with hearts, that's who, Malfoy."
"So you're saying that - because of your heart – you'd rather stay locked in here with me than ruin the engagement?"
"Yes!" Ginny exclaimed loudly. Then she saw Malfoy arch an eyebrow questioningly and realized what she had just said. "Oh, you know what I meant, ferret!"
Ginny made a disgusted face, "Never mind. I suppose I couldn't expect someone like you to understand the beauty of committing yourself to another person. Engagements could never mean anything to you."
To Ginny's surprise, her harsh words caused Malfoy to sigh and look genuinely weary. Taking a seat on the low wooden table – the only proper furniture in the room- he looked at the ceiling and groaned, "Why does everyone always assume that I'm a player?"
"Er, because you are?"
Malfoy glared at her, "Look Weasley, I may have had a few affairs with Parkinson and Greengrass, but that was it. And neither of them were right for me. Parkinson loved my account at Gringotts, not me."
Ginny almost winced at that. Being from a poor family she couldn't imagine what it was like having people use her for money, but she knew that it couldn't be a nice feeling. So, she softly sat down on the table beside Malfoy and asked, "And Daphne?"
Draco turned his face away from her inquiring eyes, and considered lying to her. But for some strange, inexplicable reason he found himself telling her the humiliating truth. "I…I caught Greengrass kissing some other bloke at Diagon Alley about a month ago."
Ginny couldn't believe how casually he was discussing this. Had it been her, she would never have been able to talk about it, let alone with a person she hardly knew. "Oh, I'm so sorry!"
Draco had expected her to say something along those lines (She was a Gryffindor after all, she had to uphold their good reputation), but what he hadn't foreseen was the genuine tone she would say it with. She actually sounded sorry for him. "Don't be, she's not worth it", he said in a low voice. Then he added, "I'm glad to be rid of her, quite honestly."
"But you two had been together for months!" Ginny could see that Draco was far more upset about Daphne than he was letting on, and so she tried to get him to show the emotion which he was clearly bottling up. It didn't work.
"So? You and Potter had been together for practically forever, and you split up."
Ginny blushed a deep crimson, "How did you find out about that? We've hardly told anyone!"
Draco shrugged, "It wasn't hard to figure out. One look at you was all it took."
When Ginny raised her eyebrows at him in surprise, Draco shrugged, "When you liked him, you looked at him as if he were a demi-god or something. What happened?"
"None of your business, ferret." Ginny snapped.
Ouch, that one hurt. Well done, Draco, not only have you gotten yourself locked in the Weasley attic, you've also gotten the only company up here mad at you.
"Sorry, I was just curious." Draco said quietly. And although he felt that he would rather be forced to work as a house elf for the rest of his life than admit it, her words had hurt him. He had just told her his most personal secrets, and she was still treating him like vermin.
Apparently Ginny realized that too, and she quickly repented saying, "No, I'm sorry, it's not you, it's just…when Harry got back from defeating Voldemort everything was different. He had changed…and so had I, and we sort of fell apart. We're still really close though, and sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if he had never left… and I don't know why I'm telling you this…I haven't even told Ron and Hermione what happened yet."
Ginny looked slightly dejected, so Draco gave her a small smile, "It's alright, I know what you mean. The war changed everything."
Ginny was surprised by Draco's melancholy tone. Both surprised and disgusted. "How could the war have possibly been a bad thing for you? I thought you always wanted Voldemort to rise to power again?"
"What!?!" Draco was flabbergasted. How could anyone want... but then he remembered that he had, and his expression became more reflective. "Actually, I suppose you're right. When I was younger, I did want that because my parents told me that they did. And I was actually proud to serve him when he did come back. I actually thought that I was doing the right thing."
Draco paused and turned to look at Ginny, fully expecting her to look either livid or revolted. But she only came across as pensive, so he pressed on, "But you know what Weasley? Even I wasn't stupid enough to believe that after awhile. There did come a point when I realized…'I'm on the wrong side'. The dark side, the evil side which causes only death and destruction. But even after I realized that, I couldn't do anything."
"Yes you could have!" Ginny burst out passionately, her brown eyes boring into Draco's, "You could have come to our side and fought for what was right!" All of a sudden she found herself wanting to turn Draco around. She wanted to bring him to the good side, her side and keep him there.
But Draco only sighed at her enthusiasm; there was so much she didn't understand. There was much more than just right and wrong in the world, and sometimes doing the right thing meant doing something wrong. "No, I couldn't have Ginny. Joining you would have meant betraying my friends, family; everyone I cared about…and yes, I do actually care for them. If I turned on them I'd have lost them forever, but I couldn't exactly join them in their crusade for evil either. I couldn't relate to or confide in anyone…I was completely alone. You can't imagine what it was like."
Why are you telling her this! What the diddle is wrong with you Draco? She doesn't care about your pathetic life story, so stop boring her with it!
Oh, I wish I could…if only she wasn't so easy to talk to… if only she'd stop looking at me like that with those big brown eyes…
Ginny gently placed a hand on Draco's shoulder, "Yes, I think I can. You see, I was all alone during the war as well. The trio was off saving the world and I couldn't do a bloody thing to help them. I felt so…useless." Ginny awkwardly removed her hand from his shoulder and looked away.
Once more Draco found himself completely at a loss. From the little he had known about Ginny, she was very popular with the girls (and boys) in her year, she was nuts about Potter and she was extremely confidant. But in their present conversation she had shown no signs of being Potter's puppet, and she had just admitted to feeling lonely and useless while at Hogwarts. Where was that annoying chit Draco had always seen her as?
"You weren't useless! I mean, you started up that DA group and rallied the students in the Room of Req -."
"You knew about that?!?" Ginny looked shocked, "Then why didn't you –"
"Rat you out?" Draco gave her a smile, "Didn't I tell you? I knew that you were on the right side. Besides I was jealous of you."
Please, please tell me I didn't just say that to her…
"You could fight for what you believed in freely." Draco said quietly, "I didn't have that luxury."
Ginny was silent, and she gazed at Draco thoughtfully. She was looking at him in a way that made Draco's heart flutter uncomfortably, and he suddenly found himself wishing that he had worn a nicer set of robes, and that he had checked his appearance in the mirror once before coming. He also felt an insane urge to hold Ginny close. This strange sensation was entirely new to him, and although he wished it would stop, he didn't want her to stop looking at him that way. Finally Draco couldn't stand the silence any longer and asked, "What is it?"
Ginny gave him a small but genuine smile, and Draco absentmindedly noticed how very pretty her smile was. Then she said, "I was wrong about you Draco. That's all. You aren't the cowardly arrogant git that the trio would have led me to believe you were."
Draco laughed, and Ginny felt pleased with herself for causing him to make the lovely sound. She had never heard him laugh properly before, without that mocking edge in his tone, and hearing him now made her wish that he laughed more often.
Besides, he really did look handsome when he wasn't wearing his customary sneer. Then Draco stopped laughing and said, "Thank you Ginny, I'm flattered. And you're not the brainless does-whatever-Potter-says girl whom I thought you were either."
"Hey! I do not do whatever Harry tells me to! He is so protective that he wouldn't let me do anything! He didn't let me go with him to stop Voldemort, he wouldn't have wanted me to steal the sword of Gryffindor, and he definitely wouldn't have wanted me to do this either."
Draco raised an eyebrow, looking confused, "Do wha-"
But he was cut off by Ginny leaning in and pressing her mouth softly to his. The kiss only lasted for one beautiful moment, and then Ginny pulled back and looked at Draco, anxiously awaiting his response.
At first Draco was too stunned to speak, and then in a slightly frazzled tone he said, "Oh. That. No, he definitely wouldn't have wanted you to do that."
Draco noticed that Ginny was looking very uncomfortable, so he grinned at her suggestively, "But that doesn't mean that I don't want you to do it."
And with that Draco took her face in his hands and leaned in to continue the kiss which had been so abruptly halted. Unfortunately for him, the door to the storeroom slammed open right before he could make contact.
"Ginny, how many times have I told you to be careful with this do– WHAT IN THE NAME OF MERLIN'S RUDDY PET RABBIT IS GOING ON HERE?!?"
Ginny leapt to her feet, and Draco instinctively jumped behind her. He could tell by the livid expression of the red faced Weasley mom that they had some serious explaining to do…but he also knew that for some unfathomable reason, he could relate to the Weasley girl – to Ginny – in a way that was more intimate and wonderful than anything he'd ever felt before. In fact, he felt so strongly about her that he almost felt tempted describe his emotions with that dreaded L-word.
And that was more than worth facing her mad mother any day.
The End =]