Disclaimer: For some strange reason none of this actually belongs to me. It's all J.'s. Lucky woman. Chapter 1
Draco kept himself hidden underneath the stands, teaming with students, teachers, and parents alike, as the two Quidditch teams fought against each other. Both were good, really stood out, especially this year, and the fight between them to be the best was fierce. It was one of the last games of the season; whoever won this one moved on to compete against Slytherin for the House Cup. It was Gryffindor against Hufflepuff and, though he did not like either team, he was secretly voting for Gryffindor, who was currently ahead by seventy points.
Well, seeing as he wasn't a Gryffindor fan, it would be more accurate to say he was actually voting more for Ginny Weasley, Gryffindor's star Chaser, and his girlfriend, who had managed to score eighty of Gryffindor's one hundred points. Okay, maybe that was fudging the details a bit. Ginny Weasley was Gryffindor's star Chaser and his ex-girlfriend. Draco and Ginny had started seeing each other about five months ago. They had broken up exactly one month ago yesterday.
It all started when Snape was away for something and, for some reason he had never figured out, he was asked to supervise a two hour detention for Ginny Weasley. It could have waited until he got back, but no, Snape insisted it be done and he said that Draco was the only one he trusted to do it. Draco suspected it had something to do with the fact that he was a Malfoy, a Slytherin, and he hated Weasleys.
Draco didn't remember much of that night. Most of it was just a blur of heat and passion. He remembered that they had started out arguing, about heaven knows what…but beyond that he was clueless. All he knew was that somehow at some point they had started kissing and apparently neither of them had seen the need to stop at any point. One thing sort of led to another.
Initially, afterwards, he pretended nothing had happened. It was easier that way, and Ginny didn't seem all that eager for a repeat herself. The problem was, he wanted repeat. In a bad way. Being with her had been not only better than he was expecting, but far better than anyone else he'd ever been with. Next time he saw her it was late at night in an empty corridor, just the two of them. What happened next wasn't his fault. He always claimed she started it and, well, he was a teenage boy with hormones. He wasn't to be blamed.
He was aware of what he was doing as he was doing it, but he didn't care. By the time they were done he already wanted her again. So he took her again and Ginny was all too willing. It became a vicious cycle; neither of them had had enough, so they instead of pretending nothing had happened they came up with a new plan. It didn't take much for the two of them to agree to keep seeing each other, or to keep it secret. Four months, and no one ever had a clue. It was the most wonderful, thrilling and learning-filled experience in Draco's life. In a few months he had become more attached to the fiery little redhead than he would have thought possible. Especially in such a short amount of time.
Until they broke up. Now his whole life could be summed up in one word: hell. Not that it was too great before, but now it was so much worse. He was miserable and was not afraid to let people know it. Ginny, however, seemed to be doing alright, and this was something that irritated him to no end. There was a big part of him that wanted her to suffer the way he was; yet at the same time he didn't want to hurt her. He knew he'd already succeeded in that once.
Their breakup was...bad, to put it nicely. Draco hadn't intended things to go so far between them, and by the time he realized just how far they had gotten it occurred to him that he was going to screw up. It was inevitable. That was what he did best. He hadn't expected things to go quite the way they had though.
Abruptly his thoughts were shattered by the sound of the announcer, whoever it was, he really hadn't been paying attention and didn't care anyway, shouting out that Harry Potter had caught the Snitch and Gryffindor had won, two hundred and fifty to forty. Draco looked out onto the field where all of the Gryffindors were gathering to celebrate with the team. What he saw there made his blood boil and his vision go red. Harry Sodding Potter went over to Ginny, his Ginny, put his arm around her waist and leaned down to kiss her on the cheek. Draco itched to grab his wand; he had never wanted to kill someone so badly as he did in that moment. And the worst part was that Ginny didn't push him away. She just looked up at the git and grinned. In a way not too far off from the way she used to look at him.
It took every ounce of self control that Draco possessed, and then some, to keep himself from rushing out onto the field with his wand drawn. When he had gotten his emotions in check, he hurried away from the crowds and headed in the direction of the Gryffindor changing rooms. Once he was there he hid behind some tall bushes nearby and waited for about five minutes before the winning team showed up. The boys went in first to shower and change and the girls waited just outside.
How chivalrous, Draco thought snidely. Nice way to treat the ladies. The girls on the team just stood by as if this was something that happened often. They stood there talking about the game and the coming celebration that was to be organized in their Common Room, as per usual after every victory. Especially one as big as this one. The boys finished up soon and left and the other girls went in. Except, to Draco's pleasure, Ginny and another girl he didn't know. They were carrying on a conversation and it appeared that they planned on finishing it before going in to shower and change. From his current position he had an excellent view of Ginny and was free to stare at her all he wanted. And he did. It was insane how much he missed her. He missed holding her and kissing her, looking into her eyes every day, making love to her, seeing her laugh, everything. He loved the smell of her hair and after she left he used to sleep with her pillow tucked against his face so when he closed his eyes he could almost fool himself into thinking she was still with him. It was pathetic, he knew, and yet he couldn't stop, even though her scent had long since faded from the material. It was driving him crazy.
But all he had to do now was wait, just wait until he could get her alone and then he was going to try and get his life back. He knew this was his last chance and if he messed up again that was it. He would never forgive himself if he screwed this up.
After a minute the girls stopped talking and turned to go in. Draco only had to wait a few more minutes before they started to file back out, all in a hurry to get to their little celebration. Ginny was, thankfully, the last one out. He hurried out of his hiding place and went to the door. He knew from experience that most of the time the female Quidditch players put a charm on the door so that no males could enter while they were changing. It sent a painful shock through the male unlucky enough, or stupid enough, to touch it. He'd snuck in a few forbidden places before and knew all the tricks. Plus, he knew Ginny and she'd use the spell if for no other reason than for the amusement of hearing somebody get an unpleasant surprise. Before he touched the door he said the counter-spell, just to be safe. He opened the door very quietly and slipped inside just as Ginny finished dressing.
He locked the door and said a Silencing Charm, also just in case. Ginny wasn't usually one to scream, not when she could fight back, but it never hurt to take precautions. She heard his whispers and whirled around.
When she didn't scream he relaxed slightly. But she was glaring at him something fierce. "Malfoy," she bit out coldly. "What the bloody heck do you think you are doing?"
"I wanted to talk to you."
"Oh, and this is a great way to get someone to want to talk to you."
Ginny turned away, but he darted forward and grabbed her arm again and spun her back around to face him. "I never said you would want to talk to me or I was going to try and make you want to. In fact, I figured you wouldn't want to talk to me. That's why I snuck in here."
"I'm not interested in anything you have to say." She turned to leave again, but Draco pulled her back, pinned her to the wall and covered her mouth with his without warning.
At first she struggled, but he had the better position and he was stronger than her. So when she realized that she couldn't fight him she just went absolutely still. Draco took advantage of her stillness to wrap his arms around her and gentled his lips against hers. He slowly moved them back and forth, trying to coax out a response. He had to hand it to her. He kissed her really good, used some of his best tricks, but she didn't give in.
Draco also knew of other things that she liked, things that always elicited a response, even when she'd tried to resist him. He knew this, had experience with it, because they rarely saw eye to eye and he had a tendency to accidentally make her mad at him. This was the only way he knew to calm her down long enough to listen to him. He moved his mouth down to her neck and began kissing there. Then he began employing the use of his tongue periodically, occasionally nipping at her skin with his teeth lightly too. For a moment he got nothing, except a slight increase in the speed of her breathing and her pulse under his mouth, so he moved to the oddly sensitive spot halfway between the side of her neck and the hollow of her throat. And was rewarded with a breathy gasp from Ginny. He began to move around, to her throat and then to the rest of her neck, to her shoulders…by the time he got back to her mouth they were both breathing hard and she had made several of those little noises of pleasure he loved so much, had missed so much, and knew that she was probably yelling at herself for it right now.
Though, this time when he kissed her, she kissed him right back. Still slightly guardedly, but it was enough. Draco pulled away when they needed to breathe again and rested his forehead on hers. The second she had caught their breath Ginny gave him a violent shove. Thankfully he was expecting something like that so he didn't end up falling flat on his arse from it.
While giving him one of her more potent glares she roughly wiped her mouth off, her eyes locked securely on his. The meaning of her gesture was obvious. Just like she'd intended. "Stay away from me."
"Because I want nothing to do with you."
"Sure about that? Your reaction there really was quite favorable."
Ginny chose not to answer that. She stalked towards the door and Draco didn't make a move to stop her. Except for a quick flick of his wand which made it so only he could open the door.
Ginny pulled on the handle for a moment before she turned to him and demanded that he open it. Draco just shook his head. "Not until you talk to me."
"Why are you doing this?"
"I thought I already explained that. Like, three times now."
"It's over," she said firmly.
"Then why did you kiss me back?"
"Ever heard of physical attraction? Yeah, that's why we got together in the first place. Your abilities when it comes to kissing is not enough to make me just suddenly forgive you or something. So I will reiterate once more: it's over. Get used to it. You had your fun, now leave me alone!"
"I can't do that. See, I've tried, but being without you is…"
Ginny waved her hand. "Oh I don't even want to hear it. You had your chance…and apparently I wasn't worth it."
"Hey now." Draco put up his hands in a defensive posture. "If I remember correctly, you walked away from me."
"Yes, I did. It would seem that your memory is functioning properly. At least on this. I did walk away from you. Apparently you need a reminder on one thing though. See, it's your fault I left. I really put myself out there for you, in a way I never have or ever even wanted to with anyone else, and I got nothing in return. You screwed it up and I haven't forgotten that."
"It wasn't like that."
"No? Well then, pray tell, how was it?" Ginny crossed her arms and looked expectantly at him.
"Ginny. You know how different we are, right? Have always been?"
She frowned, but nodded.
"You grew up with a big family. They all love you and would do anything for you. Then you started making friends, mainly here at Hogwarts. They all love you and care for you, too. I don't have that. My parents don't care about me. My 'friends' don't care about me. I don't have anyone. It's just the way my life has always been and will always be. And I never really minded.
"But then there came a point where our relationship went beyond just something physical. It took me awhile to realize it, but I eventually did. You…you're used to having people care for you and caring for them in return. I'm not, and for the first time in my life, I actually did. I really cared for someone."
"Oh yeah? Who? 'Cause you know it doesn't count when you love yourself, right?"
"You have no idea, do you? You really don't get it," Draco said incredulously, ignoring her jibe. "I care for you more than you will ever know. And I may be conceited and all, but I don't care for me at all. I don't even like me. I know myself better than anyone, and I know that I'm a bad person. There isn't much there to like. I never understood why you wanted anything to do with me."
Ginny made an exasperated face. "You know what? There was a time not too long ago where I actually thought that you did care for me. I thought that sometimes I could see it in your face, mainly when you thought I wasn't really paying attention.
"I thought that maybe if I said it first, if I went ahead and told you that I loved you, you would know it was okay to say it back. Boy was I in for a disappointment. I really put myself out there for you, more than I had originally thought I did. And the fact that you had nothing to say to me when I told you how I felt, hurt more than I had ever thought was possible." Ginny's voice shook and her eyes began to fill with tears, but she continued.
"After months of seeing you I came to know you very well. You always pulled a mask over your face when you didn't want anyone to know what you were really feeling. I learned to see through that mask. But I told you I loved you…there was no mask. You didn't even try to hide it. Even now I'm not sure which emotion was more dominant, shock or horror."
"No! Ginny I wasn't horrified, I swear. I just wasn't expecting that." Ginny made a knowing face, shook her head, and turned away again. "No….Will you just listen to me, please?"
"It's not like I have much of a choice," she said, gesturing around them. "It would appear that you don't plan on letting me go until you've spouted more of your pathetic excuses. So spout away," she snapped sarcastically.
Draco sighed, but continued anyway, "I wasn't used to caring for anyone or for having anyone care for me. I was scared because you saw through that persona everyone else saw, and so readily believed, to really see me. I was scared because you stuck around. I was scared because I wanted you to stick around and wanted you to really know me, to see past the façade I had put up. I was scared because I really cared for you and it was a lot for me to process.
"And then you told me you loved me and it….threw me off. Things between us moved faster than I expected and in a direction I never anticipated. I was just starting to come to terms with the fact that you actually meant something to me. On one count you're right, I didn't feel anything when you said that. My whole body just went numb, I didn't know what to feel." Draco paused and slumped against the wall behind him.
"Our relationship was centered around the physical, with the occasional secret meeting; but then it became more than just that. We really started seeing each other, in the sense that we were actually trying to get to know each other. Once I started to get to know you I found I really liked you. In a very short amount of time I was suddenly swamped with all these emotions I'd never felt before, all these things I'd never felt before, that were so unfamiliar to me. I didn't know what to do with them and had no one to talk to so I could try and figure out what it all meant."
"Why not talk to me?" Ginny asked, her expression bordering on hurt.
"Because I was confused." Draco straightened up, took a step closer and reached out towards her still stiff form slightly. He was smart enough to realize she was still mad, but at least she wasn't glaring anymore. "And it was you that was causing these emotions. I didn't know what to do and talking to you about it didn't occur to me, considering it was you was making me feel that way. There I was, trying to work it all out, very, very slowly, and you say you love me. It wasn't that I didn't want to hear it, it's just that I wasn't ready for you to say it. Everything happened too fast. In a few short months I went from one of the biggest playboys at Hogwarts to sending all my time with just one witch. Granted, a very amazing and wonderful witch, but the one I was never even supposed to touch. One I was actually starting to care for, for the first time in my life." He paused and took stock of her expression before forming his next words.
"I ended up standing there for the longest time after you left, just trying to process what you had said and what had happened. I went over and laid on my bed and about that time it all came crashing down on me. Everything that I felt for you and what you'd said and what it meant when you'd walked out..."
"Finally figured it out have you? And you didn't even make any effort to stop me from walking away." Now she was just getting angry again.
"Because I was shocked and scared!" Draco exclaimed, for what felt like the millionth time. "I didn't know what to do. Seeing you used to be the high point of my day. One look from you made my stomach jump to my mouth while my heart tried to beat right out of my ribcage. All you had to do was meet my eyes, give me a little smile and it drove me crazy. I wanted you so bad. You became the center of my universe, literally, so fast it made my head spin. I just hadn't fully comprehended that yet. Probably due to the spinning. I just didn't realize how deep into this I had really gotten.
"And now? Now, when I see you, the only thing I feel is pain. Because I let you walk away. I am completely miserable without you. And I know you pretty well too, just as well as you know me, and behind that glare I can see that you're hurting too. Or you were. The worst part is…I'm the one who made you hurt. I can't ever take that back and it's killing me inside. As much as I wish I could, as much as I wish I was able to pull you into my arms and hold you until you feel better, I can't. You have no idea how hard that is for me."
Ginny scowled. "How hard it is for you, huh? For you." She scoffed and made and I-knew-it face. "Because everything is about you. Always has been, always will be."
Incredulous Draco burst out, "Are you not listening to what I'm saying? I said for you. It hurts the most because I hurt you. And that is why I can't forgive myself. I hurt you. That part is about me. I screwed this up. This is all my fault.
"I made the worst mistake of my life when I let you walk away. I found out the hard way how much I'd come to depend on you, how much I loved you, and still love you."
"Don't say that! I don't want to hear it!" Ginny screamed at him.
"Why? Why is that, Gin? 'Cause you're afraid that maybe it might be true? That there is a possibility that I still care?" Now he was starting to get angry. Why couldn't she just listen to what he was saying? Isn't this what she wanted to hear? Or had it all changed in such a short time?
Draco ran his hands through his hair in an agitated manner. "I don't know what to do Gin. I know I screwed up and that there is no way I can fix that…"
"But…I love you and I can't live without you. I will do anything."
"If what? If I take you back?"
"I blew it, I know, but if you could just give me a second chance…"
"A second chance? You don't get it do you? Yes, you blew it. That means that it's over. You had your chance. I gave you everything. I gave you the chance I never should have in the first place because for some reason I thought, probably just hoped really, that you were different. I gave you everything. I gave you my virginity and my heart….And I got nothing in return. I lost it all." The tears started to fall and she covered her mouth.
"Then what do you have to lose?"
"You may already have my heart and you may have broken it once already, but you could still do it again. It can still hurt," she said, her voice thick.
"And I didn't know what I was doing," Draco interrupted desperately. "I didn't do it right, but now I do know how."
"How to what?" She shook her head before he had the chance to respond. "I'm not so sure I can do that Draco."
A thrill shot through him when she said his name. He knew he was making some progress if she was using his given name again. She only used his surname when she was really mad. Except for the fact that that last sentence didn't exactly fill him with hope. So before she had the chance to say anything else he rushed forward and kissed her again. He got the same result as last time except that she gave in faster on this round. And this time he could taste her tears on his lips.
Draco pulled away, though not very far and he didn't remove his hands from her face, and looked into her eyes. "Please, Ginny. I love you," he said slowly and firmly. "So much. I'll do anything. Please."
Ginny sighed and looked away. "I can't. I'm sorry, but I can't."
He released her, but didn't increase the distance between them. He was frustrated and he didn't know what else to say to her. Which is why he said the next words that came out of his mouth. "What's up with Potter?"
"What do you mean?" Ginny asked.
"I'm talking about the Quidditch game. Yes, I was there and yes, I saw the way he kissed you after the match."
"Yeah, he kissed me, but it was just on the cheek. Celebratory. It didn't mean anything. Friends can do that."
"You might want to try telling him that. The look he gave you was most definitely not friendly."
Ginny shook her head, the tips of her hair brushing up against him. "There's nothing between us and there never will be. Draco…I still love you. I never stopped and I never will. And… I really have missed you so much in this last month."
"You can say you love me, but how do I know you mean it?"
"I'll prove it to you. I'll do anything you ask." He knelt down, put his hands on her hips, his chin resting on her stomach and gave her a pleading look.
Ginny sighed, grabbed his tie and yanked, urging him into a standing position. "Begging doesn't suit you. Don't ever do it again."
"See, that's the problem. There isn't anything you can do. Proving something like that takes time and dedication."
"And I can do that. I just need you to give me the chance to do so."
"But how do I know you're sincere? For all I know you are lying to me."
Draco shrugged slightly and took a step away. "Well, I guess you just have to trust me."
"I tried that once already and look where it got me."
This time he kept silent, watching as she struggled to make a decision. The emotions warred for dominance on her face, her forehead scrunching up as she looked at him. She bit her lip and frowned.
"Alright," she said slowly. "How about this. I need to make at least a brief appearance at the celebration in my Common Room, though I'm not sure how long that will take because I don't want anyone to notice me leaving, at least not too soon. In fact, they've probably already noticed my absence. Someone will eventually noticed I never arrived. So with a few hours yet until dinner I think I will go do what I need to with my friends, make my appearance, then meet you in your rooms in about an hour…and when it's time to go to the Great Hall for dinner I want us to go there together."
Draco felt his heart begin to soar more and more with every word. "Really?"
"Wait, together? Like where people can see us?" he asked. Ginny nodded again. Draco blew out his breath. "You want us to go public."
She gave him his best smirk. "You are very smart Draco. Yes, I want to make it public. I know how much you hate the idea and I figure that if you really love me then I will be worth all the scorn you are going to receive from most people and the death threats my family, mainly my brothers, will deliver. For starters."
Draco swallowed hard. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"
She frowned. "Unless you think this won't work. In which case you have just wasted a lot of both our time and I figure I don't need to waste anymore on you."
"No, no. That's not what I meant," he corrected hastily. "I just figure that the best way to make this work is for me to be alive."
Ginny giggled. "Probably." Draco smiled at that. He missed hearing her laugh and decided then and there to make sure he did everything possible to get her to make that sound as often as he could.
Then he nodded. "Okay then. I'll do it."
Ginny started to smile, but then it turned into a frown. "What is it?" Draco asked, worried that maybe she'd changed her mind or something.
"Well, it just occurred to me that for all I know you plan to have your fun in your rooms with me and then you will refuse to take me to the Great Hall at all."
Draco sighed. "I can see why that might worry you, though I wish it wouldn't. Besides, I figure that if I did something like that you would risk the wrath of your family and tell them what I did. Then all of your brothers would hunt me down and castrate me and do all sorts of other painful things to me before they eventually killed me. I mean, I know I'm not the brightest guy around, but I am not stupid enough to do something like that."
Then his smirk became a frown as well. "You aren't going to tell them about this are you? Our fighting and everything?"
"Not unless you give me a reason to," Ginny responded.
"Um, just out of curiosity, but I have to ask. Why am I still alive anyway? I would've thought that you'd be so mad you'd sic your brothers on me."
Ginny chuckled. "Honestly? I have no idea why. I probably should have sicced them on you or just done it myself, but the idea never occurred to me, not even once."
"Good. Now to prove that I don't plan on wasting all my hard work to only have you again for a couple of hours…." Draco wrapped one arm around her waist and led her out of the changing rooms, after removing the spells. He walked a few feet until he saw a couple of fifth years headed their way. He stopped Ginny, spun her around and kissed her thoroughly.
Pleasure filled him when she responded immediately. He'd missed this, missed her, so much. He knew without looking that the two students had stopped to stare. He'd been counting on it. After all, it wasn't every day that you saw Draco Malfoy making out with Ginny Weasley in plain sight of the castle. Or anywhere else. Then they started whispering to each other and hurried off in the opposite direction.
Draco lifted his head and grinned at Ginny. "Now I can't get out of it. I figure the whole castle should know by dinner. And then we can go in and confirm the rumors. Will that do?"
"Yes." She grabbed a handful of his robes and pulled him back down to kiss her. When she was done she waved and said softly, "See you in an hour."
"Uh-huh. And when you arrive I am going to show you just how much I've missed you."
"I'm looking forward to it." Ginny turned and began to walk back towards the castle.
"I love you."
She walked back over to him, snogged him senseless, much to the surprise of some more students that passed their way, and gave him a dazzling smile. "I love you too, Draco."