DISCLAIMER: All of the characters and places here are owned and copyrighted by JK Rowling.

This fic was created after StrangerInMyFace made a review on Opaque's Crown of Scars. She actually challenged me to come up with an A.U. story that's totally unique and different from the HP timeline (so expect a lot of OOCs... but not too much I hope!). Basically, this whole thing was made to cater 3 of my major passions in life- Harry Potter, Ally Mcbeal… and dark psycho-thriller novels. ;p

I would like to dedicate this one to all my fave D/G fanfic writers- namely MochaButterfly, reiko, Opaque, StrangerInMyFace, davesmom, Fearthainn, FireSprite, Archer and Night Spirit… I hope I could write as great as you guys *^^*

And last but not the least: my beta-readers reiko, kalangitan, Abby and Pat! Thanks so much for all the encouragement and confidence you gave to me! I promise to do my best always!!! :D

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Chapter One

The path was dark and the rain was pouring hard amidst a stormy night. Just the way he liked it. With his left hand on the steering wheel and a bottle of beer in his right, Draco Malfoy knew exactly what he wanted - the feeling of being in control - even at the brink of inner destruction.

Oh how he longed for it!

Pressing harder on the accelerator, he drove as fast as he can muster, not minding how slippery the road was. Drinking what's left of his beer, he opened his window and threw it directly across a passing car. He didn't even flinch when the driver started cursing at him, Draco merely laughed. He was having the time of his life - and nothing could stop him now.

When he couldn't find any more beer on the passenger seat, he reached for the radio and turned up the volume really loud. Heavy metal music drowned his musings with lust and desire of all the women he feasted, and money he actually burned on booze and spliffs. Feeling that sudden rush once more, he started screaming at the top of his lungs

Why won't you die?
Your blood in mine
We'll be fine
Then your body will be mine


He was so consumed by the music, he began having visions in his head. Visions from a past long forgotten.

Look at yourself! You're nothing more than a waster! A disgrace to the Malfoy name! And more importantly - you're a disgrace to yourself...

Anger flooded his soul. "You reckon I want to be like you!" Draco barked, steering the wheel madly across the road. "You reckon you're better than me, Dad! You're wrong, and I hope you rot in hell like the rest of your bloody clan!!!" He couldn't take it anymore. He lashed out, striking the dashboard with his knuckles. Punching it so hard, his fist began to bleed and his fingers started to numb.

In all his life, Draco never felt this angry before. He was slowly losing it. He kept on banging his hand, leaving bloodstains all over his car. He didn't care at all. Why would he? At that point, Draco Malfoy wanted nothing more but to end his life. Losing control, he began drifting over the centerline...

Up ahead, another car was heading his way.

Draco whipped around, and then instinctively, jerked the wheel hard as the cars closed in on each other. The car began to slide, leaving the road just as he slammed the brakes. He was closing in on a speed limit sign. Draco struggled to keep control, then felt the wheels catch at the last moment. The car swerved again and jerked suddenly, coming to a halt in a ditch.



Draco was in a daze. Panting hard, he stared at the ditch right before him. He couldn't believe it - he almost killed himself! Without even thinking, he smirked to himself.

I guess the reunion would have to wait... Dad

He was still in a trance, when a knock suddenly came from outside his window. Draco glanced up and saw a tall man with a badge and gun hoisted up on his trousers. He ran over a cop -A Scotland Yard Inspector to be exact, judging by his badge! Feeling utterly aghast, he leaned his throbbing head on the wheel, and grimaced.

*~*~*



Two weeks after that unfortunate incident, Draco was waiting aimlessly for his lawyer to arrive with news of his arraignment. Since he was still a minor, the court decided to negotiate what could be the best punishment for him.

"As long as I don't go to jail." he muttered, pacing in circles at the Malfoy Manor library. He hated going to this room when his father was still alive. Here, he would lecture him about the benefits of being a Malfoy and how important it is to step up to the challenge. Feeling more tense than ever, he began twisting his still-sore wrist from the accident. God knows what's in store for him at this very minute. All he could think of was how the hell he could be so daft to put himself into this kind of mess!

Suddenly, a knock on the door broke his worried thoughts. His lawyer, Antonin Dolohov had finally arrived.

"What do you have for me, Dolohov?" he drawled, paying no attention to the distinguished gentleman. "I expect some good news from you."

"It seems highly unlikely, Mr. Malfoy," he replied. "It seems that the judge has over-ruled that you would have to pay the consequences of your actions."

"They very well know they can't put me in jail. Tell me, what does the judge want from me?"

"The court wants you to pay fifty thousand pounds for damaging public government property-"

"Yes? That seems relevant," Draco interrupted. "I shall have Martin arrange a check for them-"

"And to do six months of community service at a local shelter down London's East End." Dolohov concluded, looking firmly at Draco's direction.

Draco glared at him, suspiciously. "WHAT! You're saying that I have to do WHAT?"

Before he could answer, a stern voice came into the room and spoke. "Clearly now, Draco. Let's not be too melodramatic. After all, you did damage a patrol car as well as a 1956 Jaguar Roadster."

Narcissa Malfoy. Draco felt remorse at what she was about to do. Unlike his father, she still had the grace and sophistication of a highly respectable woman - yet her temper is quite legendary in her own right. It was she who taught him to fight back when he's down - and to never back down at a challenge!

"Mother," Draco whispered icily. "This does not concern you!"

"Oh yes it does since I'm the one paying for it!" Narcissa Malfoy spat. She moved closer and told Dolohov that she would like to discuss this matter with her son in private. He smiled at her, and left the room immediately. Looking back at his son, she told him to take a seat.

"I will not be treated like a-"

"Sit down Draco!"

Feeling outraged at his mother's action, Draco sat on the nearest chair and sulked heavily. He may be her son, but she had no right to embarrass him like that- especially in front of his lawyer!

"What do you want from me?" he confronted her. She merely smiled at his response. He was now feeling worse than ever!

"An explanation would be in order," She replied mildly. "Why didn't you tell me about the accident?"

"There's nothing to say. He scratched the rear end of my car and I swerved off the road. We barely bumped into each other."

"Don't you lie to me, Draco Edward Malfoy!" she scolded. "I saw the damage you caused on that Jaguar and believe me, that was not a scratch!"

Draco shrugged. "Okay, so I kinda wrecked the car a bit. It's not like I wanted it to-"

Narcissa couldn't repress her anger any further! "Not wanted it to happen??? What the hell do you take me for? You listen to me... don't you dare think that I'm as stupid as those tarts you shag with all the time!"

Draco grunted in disgust. He stood up from his chair and was headed towards the door, when she grabbed his arm.

"We're not yet finished!" she said sharply, not letting go of her grip.

"No! This discussion is over! I'm sick and tired of you ranting to my face how big of an arsehole I am!" he roared. He jerked his arm off and walked away. "I'm getting out of here."

"You're such an arrogant git! Just like your father!"

Hearing this, he went straight up to her mother and scowled. "I'm not like him!"

"Prove it!" Narcissa cried. Seeing as this was going nowhere, she slumped at the chair he had previously occupied and started to sob.

Draco felt a deep pang in his stomach. No matter how much he pissed around with his life, he had never made his mother cry- until now. He may be the egotistical prat that everybody hated... but he would never dare hurt her like that. It's bad enough that his father tormented their lives -and he wasn't about to start doing that to her all over again!

Kneeling beside her, he took her hand and caressed it. "I'm sorry about what I said," he whispered. "And I'm sorry about the car and the arrest."

Narcissa gazed at him with pleading eyes. "Why do you keep doing this to yourself? You used to be such a nice boy," She tucked a lock of his silvery blond her under his ear. "You can do so much more with your life."

Draco smirked. "Yeah right. It's bad enough that I'm a Malfoy-"

"Stop it!" she protested, putting her hands on his shoulders. "He's dead, you hear me… dead! He's never coming back. Never!"

Draco was stunned. He wanted so badly to agree with her - but he couldn't! In his mind, he could still feel his presence wherever he went. He was like a curse that wouldn't go away. Oh how he loathed the man who destroyed his life. Even unto his grave, his fury and torment still loomed over them... like a ghost that haunted their every move. Sighing, he laid his head on her lap and closed his eyes. He was too tired to think. Too tired to fight back.



Narcissa couldn't help but feel sorry for his son. All his life, he felt nothing but pain and remorse all over him. Even her love for him wasn't strong enough to shield him from the horrors of his past. She wanted nothing more but to make his son happy - because he deserved it more than ever! They both suffered dearly in the hands of a madman she once called her husband. Looking at his silent state, she vowed to herself that Draco would never go through that sort of hell again as long as she lived. She brushed her lips unto his head, wishing silently for the Fates to protect him.

My lonely angel

"Six months, right?" Draco finally said, looking glum. "I reckon I can manage that."

Narcissa smiled, stroking his hair lovingly. "I know you will."

*~*~*



The Hogwarts Institute for the Disabled was quite well known in downtown London. Unlike all the other modern buildings surrounding it, its façade clearly resembles that of an old medieval castle. According to local historians, it once served as one of the guesthouses for Queen Elizabeth I and was one of the few surviving structures during the Great Fire of London in 1666.

"At least it's not some beastly old shelter." Draco muttered, stepping out of his newly furnished Jaguar. Good thing he chose to wear a decent suit. He sought to make a good impression - until his probation is over, that is.

The main entrance was a huge set of iron bound oak doors at least a foot thick, with the castle crest engraved it. The crest had a lion, badger, snake, an eagle, and a gold-embossed H in the middle. Its motto had the phrase Draco Dormiens nunquam titillandus, which meant- if his Latin served him right- never tickle a sleeping dragon.

Weird, he thought. Very weird.

He was about to knock on the door when a tall, gawky man opened it for him. He seemed to be wearing some sort of uniform that was totally different from the ones worn by normal doormen.

"Good day to you, Sir! Welcome to Hogwarts." He greeted, gesturing for him to come inside. Draco slightly nodded, and walked towards the foyer. To his surprise, it looked far better than what he had expected - the entrance arch had tiny horses incorporated into it, along with cherubs, scrolls, leaves and Renaissance ornamentation perfectly hand-carved in French oak. On his right stood a beautiful fireplace of marbled hand-sculptured staff work with two gargoyles supporting the mantelshelf. Even the two French sofas complemented the red carpet leading to the main staircase. Living in a huge manor himself, Draco always seemed to have an eye for Renaissance & Victorian architecture. And judging by the foyer, Hogwarts is indeed an architectural marvel!

"Can I help you, sir?"

Disrupting his thoughts, Draco turned and approached a thin woman sitting by the reception table. He handed her a letter from his lawyer. "I have an appointment with Mr. Severus Snape."

The woman took the letter cordially and began reading it. She then went to the phone and placed a call. After a minute or so, she went back and faced him. "Kindly wait there by the sofa. Ms. Granger will arrive shortly." Draco furrowed his brow. Ms. Granger? Must be his secretary. He did what he was told and took his seat. Waiting impatiently, he began to worry as to what kind of "punishment" he'd have to go through.

They'd probably make me mop the floors or wipe the arse of some old daft... or worse...

Babysitting!


Draco placed his hands on his face and leaned forward. "God, what kind of mess did I get myself into!" he grumbled. He couldn't take it anymore! He was about to leave, when a young woman with brown bushy hair moved towards him and extended a hand.

"Draco Malfoy, I presume. I'm really sorry to have kept you waiting," she said with utmost confidence. "I'm Hermione Granger. Vice-Director Snape gives his apologizes for not being able to meet with you today."

He shook her hand, eyeing her suspiciously. She didn't seem to be older or younger than he is, but with her tweed trench & suede skirt, she definitely looked quite like a professional. "May I know where he is?"

"He's on a business trip at the moment." Hermione answered, gesturing that they head for the main staircase. Upon reaching the top, they turned left and into a huge corridor filled with French paintings

Walking steadfast, he cast a glance at the stained windows on his left; he could not help but admire the wonderful view it had of London Harbor. "This castle is truly magnificent."

Hermione beamed with pride. "It most certainly is! This castle is one of the last surviving-"

"-remnants of the Great Fire of London. Clearly Miss Granger, almost all of London knows of that historical fact."

Hermione frowned, embarrassed with his remark. "I see. Anyways, I have been given instructions that you would be assigned as a reader for one of our blind female residents," she stated, browsing through a pile of documents in her hands. "You are to spend 4 hours a day, 3 times a week in the library till the end of your probation."

Draco grimaced at the thought of spending hours a week locked up in a room with some blind stranger. She probably looks like a dried-up prune in a puke-stained frock!

"Also, you are to sign an attendance form from Madam Pince before and after your sessions at the reception area," she continued, handing him the form. "Vice-Director Snape has told me that if ever-"

Draco wasn't paying attention to her anymore. He was too pissed on how miserable the next six months would be for him. From now on, he would have to spend his free time at Hogwarts, finish his thesis proposal with what little time he had left... and completely do away his social life.

Jail would have been so much more fun than this!

"You have any questions so far?" she asked, facing him as they stopped in front of a pair of French rosewood doors.

Yeah like, can I have my life back!?! "When do I start?"

"Right now." Hermione pushed the two doors to reveal a huge library with one side of the wall housing a huge shelf filled with books. On the other wall was a nice fireplace, which bears the coat-of-arms of James I along its overmantel. But the one that caught his attention was the huge window wall, draped in thick red velvet curtain, giving out a spectacular view of the harbor...

...and the woman sitting by the couch in the middle of the room.

"Mister Malfoy, I'd like you to meet Miss Virginia Weasley. Virginia, I'd like you to meet your new reader."

A young woman with dark-auburn hair stood up and offered her hand. Draco eyed her from head to toe - she had on a red satin jacket with a tweak black turtleneck and bootleg stretch trousers. She wore a pair of lilac-colored glasses, concealing her eyes.

Not bad... not bad at all... Draco smirked.

"How do you, Mister Malfoy?" she sweetly replied, giving him a warm smile.

Draco took her hand and brushed his lips on it. "Please, call me Draco."

She cringed at the tone of his voice, but continued to smile. "Hmm... A gentleman. And I thought blokes like you were a dying breed."

"Believe me, there are still some of us out there. You just need to look around more."

"Ginny, have you already chosen what you would like Mr. Malfoy to read for you?" Hermione asked, interrupting their conversation.

Ginny nodded. "If you'll both excuse me." Using her cane, she walked past them and went to the bookshelf. Scanning the books with her hands, she took out a small book and ran her fingers across its bind. She then turned towards them and handed it to Draco.

"The Road Less Traveled. An excellent choice." Draco said, reading its front cover. Ginny responded with a smile.

Hermione cleared her throat. "Well then, now that everything's settled, I'd better be off then." She went for the door, but turned to give Virginia one last word.

"By the way, Ginny- please do behave yourself."

Ginny merely went back to her seat. "Oh I will! You can count on me, Hermione."

Giving her one last look, she said her goodbyes and closed the doors.

Draco, glancing at Virginia with utmost curiosity, began tossing the book up in the air. "Look here Virginia, why don't we skip the reading part and just-"

"Will you please shut up?!" she hissed, clearly not paying attention to him at all. He glared at her. "Excuse me? Did you just told me to-"

"She's gone." Ginny interrupted. She wasted no time- she stood up, took her cane and tapped her way to the fireplace. When she was about to reach the mantelshelf, a firm grip pulled her aside and rammed her against the wall.

"I will not be ignored like this!" Draco snarled, staring angrily at her. "First and foremost… WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU DOING?!"

Ginny didn't falter at his expense- she simply gave him a nasty grin. "We both know we don't what to be here so I'm doing us a huge favor. Now, step aside and let me do my job!"

Draco sneered. "And may I ask what this favor is?"

Ginny rolled her eyes and pushed him aside- hard. She knew that by arguing with him, they would lose this chance. She felt her way to the medieval armor standing beside the fireplace, and glided her hands, trying desperately to find the lever.

Draco, feeling annoyed, stood behind her. "Sorry to interrupt you two but I believe I deserve an-"

He never got to finish his sentence- he was too shocked to see the fireplace suddenly open up in two, to reveal a hidden trapdoor underneath it. Ginny then turned to him.

"This is a trapdoor to an underground passageway that leads to the central courtyard. Now all you got to do is go down the ladder and walk all the way to the end. There, you will find a wooden door which would get you out of the castle and into the courtyard."

Draco stared at it, and then back at her. "You expect me to go down there alone?!" he barked.

"Look, this is the only way you can 'escape' from the library," she retorted. She unconsciously started tapping her cane, calming herself down. "Unless you want to get stuck here with me."

That doesn't sound like a bad idea. Draco moved towards her. "Suppose I do want to stay, what are you gonna do about it?" he uttered nastily.

Ginny merely sniggered a laugh. "Trust me, you don't want to find out. So why don't you be a good boy and do what Mummy tells you."

Without a minute's notice, Draco grabbed her arms. He didn't like to be bullied around- especially by a woman. Unfortunately, Ginny was quick enough to evade it and waved her cane across Draco's legs, causing him to fall flat on his back. Not wasting time, Ginny then slammed her boot on his chest and pointed her cane just below his neck. Draco scowled at her, feeling the hard steel tip on him.

"I told you not to try me, Malfoy," she drawled, pushing the cane a bit deeper.

Draco smirked, even though he was getting bruised "You do this to all the men in your life?"

"Unfortunately, you're the first one." Ginny tried her best not to poke too hard. The last thing she wants is to stain her precious walking stick with some arrogant prat's blood. She slowly raised it and started loosening her grip on it.

Seeing this, Draco took a risk- he seized her cane and swayed it off him. But alas, Ginny, losing her balance, accidentally stepped on his groin. Draco glowered in pain, as Ginny fell to the floor.

"Dammit, are you out of your mind?!" she shouted, trying to find her cane. "Can't you see that I'm blind?!"

"Yeah, well you sure don't act like one!" Draco gritted out, and closed his eyes. He felt as if his whole body was wrenched in pain. Even his brain seemed numb. But the one thing that hurt the most from this encounter- was his ego.

Ginny breathed hard. This is not part of the plan! "Can you stand up?" she asked, finally grabbing her cane.

"Geez, I'll see if my groin would agree to that!" he scoffed. Sensing the pain fading away, he tried standing up and leaned against the wall. His groin was still in pain, yet he didn't want to give her the pleasure of sensing him at his worst disposition.

So much for first impressions. He closed his eyes and racked his hair. Could this day get any worse!?!

Ginny, hearing Draco stand up, went up to him with caution. She sighed. "This is not the time for us to argue and fight. All you need to do is go down that bloody ladder and get the hell out of here. Is that so hard to do?"

"Easy for you to say. I've never been down there. What if there's no passageway, and for all I know, you're probably trying to lock me down there for all eternity!"

Ginny groaned. This bloke is so dead stubborn! Grabbing his arm, she quickly led him to the door. "Fine! I'll SHOW you the way!" Ginny was about to go down when she suddenly remembered something. She guided her way towards the side table by the sofa and took out a small tape recorder. She pressed the PLAY button and turned the volume up. A man's voice suddenly came out of the small box.

... of all the misconceptions about love the most powerful and pervasive is the belief that "falling in love" is love or at least one of the manifestations of love. It is a potent misconception, because falling in love...

Draco clapped his hands, admiring her 'work.' "Very clever, Weasley. I couldn't have done it better myself."

"Coming from you, I take that as a compliment." She paced her way back to the trapdoor and climbed downwards. Draco started to feel unsure. Can he really trust her... especially after what she did? He began checking his options- he could just follow her and get as far away from this place as possible; or stay here and end up boring himself to death! But he couldn't help but feel awkward and dim for letting a blind girl guide him! Who does she think she is?! Just because she lives here doesn't mean she knows the place by heart, can she? Draco growled in utter annoyance. I can't believe I'm doing this! God, how low can I get!?!

"Oy! Are you coming down or not?" Ginny called out from below.

"Alright already!" Draco snapped, still trying to figure out what to do next. With the tape recorder playing verses of the book, and the slightly infuriating pride pounding on his head, he decided to do the unthinkable...

*~*~*



"Finally! I was starting to get lonely down here!" Ginny remarked sarcastically, as Draco slowly descended the ladder. The place was totally dark and damp- two things he hated the most!

"I can't see a thing down here!"

"Welcome to my world, mate! Now hand me your lighter."

"How the hell do you know that I have one?"

Ginny slightly stepped forward and sniffed his shirt. "You're covered with spliffs smoke," she confirmed. "So quit stalling and just hand it over to me."

Draco rolled his eyes, and placed a dragon-shaped lighter on her hand. "Take it!"

She leered at him, clicked the lighter, and placed the flame in one of the torches along the passageway. Instantly, all of the torches blazed, making the hall as bright as day. Placing her hand against the wall, Ginny started to move forward. "The whole tunnel was made as one of the escape routes for Queen Elizabeth I during the war. Fortunately, nobody uses this one anymore."

Draco followed, keeping a close eye on her. Despite her tough demeanor, he could not help but be mesmerized by her grace and confidence. Even though she's a few inches shorter than him, her slender legs made her look taller. Her hair always seemed to sway whenever she moved- making it more stunning than it already was.

Too bad she's a redhead.

"Quit staring at me," Ginny spat, feeling totally self-conscious. "It's bad enough that I'm wasting my time on you!"

"Like I would even glance at a girl like you," Draco said, mockingly. "Hell, you're not even my type!"

"Let me guess... dumb blondes? Exotic brunettes?"

"Most likely... not like you... temperamental... egotistic..."

"... and a lot smarter than you," Ginny cut him off. "Honestly, do you really think that you're God's gift to women?"

"Why don't you see for yourself?" Draco teased. "Come on, I'm not gonna hurt you."

Ginny stopped and faced him. "For starters, I happen to be blind... so even if you strip down naked right now... I won't even cringe!" she smirked, folding her arms across her chest. "And one more thing- I'm not that DESPERATE to get shagged... especially with an arsehole like you."

"Really?" Draco continued to taunt. He tried grabbing her again, "Maybe you like a little demonstration..."

Ginny then swerved her cane just high enough to hit him on the cheek. Draco moved back, rubbing it franticly.

"WHAT THE HELL'S WRONG WITH YOU?" he barked, his anger slowly rising. "First you banged my legs, stepped on my-"

"I told you to stay away from me." She retorted. She then turned her back at him, and tapped away at the end of a corner. Judging from the Braille labels posted on the wall, they'd be at the clearing anytime soon. She was rather pleased with herself. One of the few things she loathed the most was when people mocked her- just because she's 'visually impaired.' She knew she had to learn how to defend herself and not look daft in front of others.

Besides, I know men like him would only end up hurting her again.

Draco decided not to bother her anymore. It's bad enough that he'd experience this much pain in one day- let alone by a blind girl! But deep inside, he was kinda impressed at how she handled herself. She was totally different from all the women in his life. They were the type that literally flaunt all over him just to get his attention. She, on the other hand, nearly tried to kill him!

"So why are you here? In Hogwarts, I mean?" Ginny asked, trying to start a conversation. Not that she wanted to talk to him; but the silence between them was driving her crazy!

"Why do you wanna know?" Draco asked quizzically.

"Just curious. I mean, you're not the kind of person who would drop his social life to spend time with disabled folks like us."

Draco moaned, his head throbbing from too much noise "I got caught for drunk driving."

"Ahh... I figured you'd do something stupid like that," she quipped, tapping her cane with much fervor. "It was either that or you decided to rob a bank- not that you need the money."

"What makes you say that?" Draco asked, getting more annoyed than ever.

"Judging from your perfume- which I believe is highly expensive- you seem too rich to even care about other people's business... especially if it doesn't concern you at all!"

"You seemed to know me very well..." He jeered. "What about you? What's your crime?"

Ginny chuckled. "Let's just say I like to bend the rules a bit."

"So you're a troublemaker?"

"And you're a piss-head... I guess that makes us even."

Draco furrowed his brow. Nobody had ever told him flat-out about his drinking- not even his mother! Sure, he had a few occasional drinks along the side... but to be called one is totally unnerving. "I'm not a drunk!" he hissed.

"Whatever. Anyway, here's where you get off," She was now standing in front of an old rustic door with an iron-wrought handle. She let go of her walking stick, placed it against the wall, and pulled the handle with all her might. "Mind giving me a hand?"

Draco rolled his eyes, and took the handle from her. He tugged the door till he was able to open it. The opening was completely covered with vines, climbing roses and honeysuckle. Ginny passed through it to reveal the central courtyard. Its walls were covered with English ivy reaching till the granite walkway along the perimeter. The whole place had greenery all over, with a cherub-like fountain at the center.

"There's a hidden gate heading to a street just outside the castle," Ginny pointed to her left with her stick. "Follow the narrow road, and you'll be at the parking lot before Stan notices you."

"You sure?"

"Hey, I got you this far, did I?" With that, Ginny turned and headed for the door. "One more thing," Ginny reminded as she reached the opening. "Don't tell this to anybody, okay?"

"Suppose I do tell this to-"

"You won't." Ginny interrupted, completely closing the door. Draco grunted, and strolled frantically towards the gate

"See you on Wednesday then."

*~*~*



I'm only human
A flesh and blood I'm made
Human

"Born to make mistakes." Ginny hummed, typing away on her Type 'n Speak keyboard. The CD component boomed like crazy, but she was too preoccupied with the manuscript she was doing. She stopped for awhile, traced her fingers on her Braille book, and typed again. After what seemed like hours, she felt tired. She slipped a packet of cocaine out of her pocket, carefully tipped some on an empty matchbox, and snorted it up. She was about to start typing again when a loud clatter echoed through the whole room.

"Colin! How many times do I have to tell you to use the pulley and not throw off your bloody wheelchair!" she shouted, the effects of the cocaine slowly taking its course on her. "You're gonna end up waking Filch again!"

"Yeah... yeah," Colin called out, trying desperately to climb down the rope and into his now-beaten up chair. "Do you have any idea how old that pulley is? I swear, it can't even carry a bag of peanuts!"

Ginny moaned, placing her hands on her face. "Fine. My mistake. I promise to try to tinker it AGAIN!" She stood up and stretched her arms. Colin rolled past her and into a nearby table. She could almost smell the food he brought it. "Don't tell me you pinched some snacks again."

"Hey! I got hungry along the way," He defended himself, rummaging under a huge bag of goodies. "Besides, I heard you were playing your Crash CD... and that only happens when you're in a foul mood so I thought I'd bring you something to eat."

Ginny smiled. Colin Creevey had been her best mate every since he moved in at Hogwarts some ten years ago. He had been paralyzed from the waist down, and his parents decided to board him in due to his therapy sessions at the hospital wing. For as long as they could remember, they had been inseparable. They did almost everything together from playing pranks to "pinching" sessions at the Mess Hall. They even discovered all the hidden tunnels and passageways of the castle, and made one of the old underground military chambers as their own little "hideaway". The 'Crypt', as they would call it, had everything they needed to "survive"- beanbags, camp beds, Apple Mac (with Internet), CD component system, ref, microwave oven, phone... even a small telly! Whenever they felt like they needed an 'escape' (especially after pulling a stunt on Snape), this was the first place they went to. "Thanks. So what do you got?"

"I got some baps, crisps, jellies, lollies... which one do you like, tuna or chicken mayonnaise?" She wasn't really hungry but she couldn't say 'NO' to his offer. "Tuna... and you got some biscuits there too." Colin handed it over to her. He took out a small bottle and poured some lemonade in a glass. He gave one to her and wheeled himself to the Mac. "So what's up? You had a bad day?" he asked, opening his email.

Ginny slumped on her bag. "Terrible is more like it! I had to literally drag that bloody idiot into the tunnel. I tell you, he's the most narcissistic prat I had ever met in my entire life!" She gulped her lemonade. "He even tried to physically harass me!"

"I guess that explains the bent on your cane," he commented. Colin then started to go to various University sites all across the UK. "What's the guy's name again?"

"Draco Malfoy. Why?" Ginny asked curiously. She leant forward, hearing him type on his Mac quite fervently. "What are you searching for?"

Colin clicked his mouse and peered at the monitor. "Draco Edward Malfoy. Son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. A fresher from Durmstrang University with a course in Political Science. He's at the top five percent of his class and even has a football scholarship. His A-level marks are one of the highest last year and is currently a student representative. Blimey! This bloke is so bloody perfect, I think I'm gonna puke!"

"What do you mean? You must've gotten all your information wrong."

"G, trust me," he assured her, as she stood beside him. "He's the only one registered under that name in all the universities and colleges all over the country. Who else could it be?"

Ginny couldn't believe. She groaned in horror. "Are you saying that... that... git... is as good as it gets?!"

"I'm afraid so. Too bad you don't get to see him. He's quite a charmer. Let's see, 6'2 in height, silver blonde hair, gray eyes-"

"I DON'T FUCKING CARE WHAT HE LOOKS LIKE!"

"Then stop screaming the hell out of me! Jesus, I'm a frigging cripple for crying out loud, not a deaf-mute!"

Ginny sighed, pacing furiously in circles. "I can't believe this is happening to me-"

"G, your shades are falling off..." Colin said, warningly.

"I can't go back there. There is no way I'm going to be stuck in a room with him ever again! I'd rather hang myself than go through that kind of 'torture'!"

"G, your shades are falling-"

"I HEARD YOU!" Ginny barked, pushing her shades up her nose. Colin, shaking his head, took her hand and dragged her to the nearest beanbag. "Sit down, G. You're making me nauseous."

Ginny sat, completely exhausted by her outburst. Rubbing her temples, she started to calm herself down. "I can't believe Snape actually set the whole thing up. I swear to you, he is going to pay dearly for this if it's the last thing I do!"

"I reckon you don't need to worry about that, luv," Colin teased.

Ginny eyed him mischievously. "What did you do this time, Creevey?"

He chuckled, moving closer to her. "Remember how he always wanted to renovate his office?"

"Yeah. So?"

"He said that the one thing he hated about it the most were the wallpapers-"

"Oh my God, you didn't?" she gawked.

"So he decided to order new ones online... and guess what color he chose?"

Ginny giggled, trying desperately not to laugh. "Let me guess? Something that has flowers in it?"

"Yellow daisies in a very chic pink background- with a few butterflies on the side!"

They couldn't contain it anymore- they laughed out so hard their stomachs were churning madly!

"I can't believe you just did that!" she whimpered, wiping the tears from her eyes. "He will definitely throw a wobbly when he sees it!"

"Hey! Nobody messes with my girl and gets away with it," he beamed. "Besides, it's been ages since we last pulled a prank this good!"

Ginny laughed. "Right you are! This would definitely go down as one of our best executed plans ever!"

"Speaking of plans, what are you going to do about Mr. Perfect-To-The-Core Malfoy?"

"Simple." She groped on the floor and picked up her Type 'N Speak. She then pressed the Sound button.

... It was in the spring of 1890 that I learned to speak. The impulse to utter audible sounds had always been strong within me. I used to make noises, keeping one hand on my throat...

Colin gasped. "Oh God, no! You are not going to force me to recor-"

"Do you want your best mate to be incarcerated for murder?" Ginny blurted out.

Colin glared at her, before grabbing the keyboard off her hands. "This better be worth it!"

Ginny grinned, putting on her personal stereo, "I know you'll see it my way."



AUTHOR'S NOTE:

The castle architecture was inspired by the Belcourt Castle, located near Rhode Islands, USA. To see actual pictures of the place, go to http://www.belcourtcastle.com

The Type N' Speak keyboard lets you input and edit directly into its memory, and instantly reads back the information through the internal speech synthesizer at the press of a single command. For more info, head to http://www.freedomscientific.com

The songs used on this chapter are from "System" by Chester Bennington of Linkin Park from the Queen of the Damned OST & "Human" by The Human League from their Crash album. Again, DO NOT OWN THIS SONGS... SO PLEASE DON'T SUE ME!!!

The first reading was taken from page 84 of the book "A Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. (UK Edition, 1978) The second reading is from page 42 of the book "The Story of My Life" by Helen Keller. (US Paperback Edition, 1990)