A/N: I know, I should be working on Eyes of Darkness, but I'm trying to work through my writer's block. A warning, this features a very OOC Draco. Well, not too badly, but not his usual snarky self. It's a one-shot though, so read and review anyway, please?
DISCLAIMER: The Harry Potter universe is the property of JK Rowling, Warner Bros, and various other parties not mentioned here.
"For the love of Jesus!" cried Ginny, thoroughly exasperated. She watched in dismay as her backpack, having been knocked off her shoulder by a passing seventh year, clattered to the floor, spilling quills, ink, and parchments all over the hallway.
Several people stopped to give her questioning stares, then continued on their way. Ginny sighed as she bent down, and began shoving everything hastily into her book bag.
This was it, the icing on the cake. Beginning from when she woke up this morning, she commenced to have the very worst day of her life.
The fates must have been set out to piss her off, because for the first time ever, her alarm did not wake her up. She was sleeping soundly, until her roommate Miranda Townson pulled back the curtains on her bed.
"Ginny, wake up!" she cried. "Breakfast is almost over, and classes start in twenty minutes!"
"Wha?" Ginny asked, still half-asleep. Miranda's words dawned on her. "Twenty minutes?!" she asked, flying out of bed. "Shit shit shit shit shit!" She yanked open her wardrobe, grabbed some clothes, and practically apparated to the shower.
And that had just been the beginning. She had to skip breakfast, and made a mad dash down the hall to Transfiguration, accidentally passing through Nearly Headless Nick. The sudden chill woke her up further, and she just barely slipped into her seat when the bell rang.
After a disapproving look from McGonagall, class resumed as normal. They were all given tall top hats, and were asked to turn them into Easter bonnets. She gave extra points for flowers and ribbons, and took some away if they were still the sleek black color.
Ginny's bonnet wasn't the best in the class, but it wasn't the worst either. It looked like a bonnet, and had a pretty green ribbon around it. Pretty standard really, but better than poor Arthur Miller's. His hat didn't seem to want to change at all, and after a mispronunciation, it grew rabbit ears.
After Transfiguration, she had a free period. She spent most of that time in the library, searching in vain for information on her Herbology essay. But, owing to her bad luck, all the books that even contained the word "mifflesprout" seemed to have been checked out or vanished.
Ginny groaned in disappointment, catching the attention of Madam Pince. After a lengthy lecture on the virtues of being quiet, and five points taken from Gryffindor, the librarian finally let Ginny go free.
She headed down the hallway to lunch, famished. Her stomach reprimanded her in a series of loud growls, and warned her not to neglect it again. When she slipped into her chair next to Miranda, and across from Hermione, Harry, and her brother, she was nearly faint with hunger.
She grabbed two rolls as they were passed around, and a piece of chicken. After scarfing these items down, along with a slice of cantaloupe, a ham and cheese sandwich, and some grapes, she drained a goblet of pumpkin juice.
Turning her head, she realized Miranda was staring at her.
"What?" she asked.
"Damn, Gin," she said, slightly awed. "I don't think I've ever seen you pack away that much at one go."
Ginny snorted. "Honestly Miranda, I've eaten more than that before. And I skipped breakfast, remember?"
"True . . ."
After Miranda was finished, she and Ginny walked down to the dungeons, dreading their next class. It was Potions, with the Slytherins.
Ginny and Miranda grabbed their usual table near the back, and began searching through their bags for the ingredients that were listed on the board. Snape, in his usual poisonous mood, was currently lurking behind his desk, grading essays.
He looked up after the bell rang.
"Today you will be making a basic Truth potion," he snarled. "Supplies are on the board, instructions are on page 483 of your books. You will have an hour to make it, and at the end of that hour you will take the potion, and see if it works. Or rather, see that it doesn't."
He looked at the Gryffindor students, in particular at a girl name Linnie Hamilton. "Try not to kill yourself." he said. "I personally couldn't care, but being in the infirmary for a month will not improve your grade."
Linnie blushed scarlet, then mimicked her classmates and began flipping through her book to find the right page.
Ginny began chopping up valerian roots, while Miranda added the flobberworm mucus and bimble blood. Mixing it with the valerian, and letting it simmer for five minutes, it turned a soothing blue and was slightly lumpy in texture.
Ginny ran a finger down the page to the next step.
"Add a milliliter of beetle's eyes, and a centiliter of arfingle tears, and the potion should be a dark midnight blue." She whispered to Miranda.
Miranda scooped some beetle's eyes, while Ginny struggled with the tears, measuring carefully so as not to ruin their potion. After dumping in the tears and eyes, the mixture indeed turned midnight blue.
"Thank God," muttered Miranda. "Now what?"
"Boil for a half-hour, then cool and let sit five minutes."
"Finally, something easy."
After upping the heat so the mixture bubbled rapidly, Ginny and Miranda sank back into their seats. Ginny pulled ink and a parchment out of her backpack, and proceeded to work on her essay due the following week. Prof. Snape didn't allow them to just sit and dawdle while their potions were brewing, so he made sure they were doing work. If it was not for his class, and he had an essay due soon, he made the student show him their completed Potions essay, before allowing them to continue with their other work.
Ginny bit the end of her quill, meditating over a particularly nasty bit of her essay. 'What are the effects of veritaserum on a person who is mentally unstable?'
What indeed, she thought, and flipped through her book, looking for the answer.
Her work was interrupted by a nudge from Miranda.
"It's been long enough," she said, and gestured to their cauldron.
Ginny flipped back to the instructions, and softly read the next step.
"After boiling, the potion should be a sky blue, almost clear,"
She glanced at the potion, which was sky blue. At least something is going right today.
"Let simmer for five minutes, and the potion should stay the same color. After five minutes, it will be ready for use."
Ginny noted the time on her watch, and went back to searching for the answer for her essay. After five minutes, she still hadn't found it, and she turned her attentions back to the class.
"Time's up!" said Snape, rising from his chair. "Now let's see if you thick-headed clots did anything correctly for once."
Naturally, his first victims were the Gryffindors, and Linnie Hamilton. He sneered at her potion, which was a bright, neon blue.
"The text specifically stated that it was supposed to be sky blue, not neon." He snarled. "Ten points from Gryffindor for excessive stupidity. I'm not even going to try it; I don't need the Ministry complaining about dead students."
He wandered through the students, try potions, most turning out to be successful. When he got to Miranda and Ginny, a knock was heard at the classroom door.
"Come in," sneered Snape, obviously perturbed at being disturbed during teaching.
The door opened, and in waltzed Draco Malfoy. The sight of his favorite pupil caused Snape's sneer to lessen, but only just. Draco handed a parchment to Snape.
Snape perused it, and his lip began to curl.
"This is supposed to important enough to interrupt my class for?"
Draco shrugged. "Filch's request, sir."
Snape, if possible, sneered even fiercely than before.
"I am supposed to tell you," he spat. "That anyone caught setting off dungbombs in the corridors will receive two detentions and fifty points from his house. Why Mr. Filch thought this was so terribly pressing that he interrupt my class for I do not know."
Draco turned to leave.
"Wait," said Snape. "This is your free period, correct? Spend the last few minutes down here, as we are about to test Miss Weasley's potion."
Draco smirked, eyes glinting with amusement. Ginny quaked inside. This was not good; obviously Snape had devised some way to embarrass her, probably for his own amusement. He dipped a metal ladle into the cauldron, and had Ginny drink from it.
"What is your full name?" he asked.
"Virginia Elizabeth Weasley."
"What school do you attend?"
"Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"Very good," he said, eye glittering dangerously.
"Now, Miss Weasley, if you will kindly tell us what you think of Mr. Malfoy?" Snape prepared himself for the string of insults she would surely let out, and began to formulate how many points to take away.
Ginny bit her lip; she saw right through his plan. However, her will could not contest with the potion, especially after Snape asked her for a second time.
"I think he is a complete git with a poisonous personality and a nasty attitude." She thought this was all, but then more words came rushing out of her mouth, making her eyes widen in surprise. "He has no redeeming qualities, except for his exceedingly tasty bum."
She looked shocked, and clapped her hands over her mouth. Her classmates all dissolve into laughter, the Gryffindor boys appalled, and the girls all secretly agreeing with it. Even if he was loathsome, he had a nice ass.
Snape too was surprised, his mouth slightly open. Draco just looked smug, relishing her embarrassment and being smug, because he knew he had an awesome bum. He just didn't realize people thought it was "tasty."
To Ginny's relief, the bell rang, and she hastily began shoving her things in her bag. However, she was the last one left after the others had poured out of the room, leaving her alone with Draco, as Snape had retreated to his office.
As she was exiting, Draco grabbed her by the arm.
He smirked. "I'm tasty, eh? I never thought I'd hear that from you."
Ginny looked furious, and yanked her arm out of his grasp. "Piss off, Malfoy."
"No thank you," he replied, and pushed past her to be out the door first. Halfway down the hallway he stopped, looking over his shoulder to make sure she was watching, then wiggled his fanny. His laughter echoed through the halls, and he left Ginny fuming.
She ran through the halls in a vain effort not to be late for dinner, and she ran into someone, causing her bag to fall, bring us to where we are now.
She blinked back tears as she put the last quill away. Today had been horrible. She couldn't face her friends, not after what she said in Potions, and considered skipping dinner. Her stomach, however, protested loudly to this idea, and made her decide to pop into the kitchens to eat.
She walked down the hall until she found the paint of the fruit, and tickled the pear, like Fred had told her to. It giggled, then turned into a handle, which she yanked on, and stepped through the door.
All around her house-elves were busing sending up food to the tables. She plopped down into a vacant seat by the hearth and put her chin in her hands, staring resolutely into the fire.
A house-elf wearing very loud shorts and a checkered tie ran up to her, skidding slightly in the frumpy, knotted socks he wore, no doubt the ones Harry had given him three years ago.
"Something is wrong with the Wheezy's sister?"
Ginny sighed. "Just a bad day, Dobby. You have any leftovers around I can snack on?"
"Oh, yes!" cried Dobby, scampering away, then returning with several pieces of ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots, and a large goblet of pumpkin juice. He placed them on a vacant table, and ushered Ginny to a stool by it.
"Eat, yes, but Dobby must get back to cooking!" After making sure she was settled, he moved back to the various ovens and stoves.
Ginny sat eating slowly, lost in thought. Why did Snape have to ask that question, and in front of everyone? No, she didn't like Draco, that was for sure. She just occasionally admired the view. Beauty like that only came around once in a few people, and should be recognized. Just not publicly.
She sighed, plowing through her mashed potatoes as the painting opened, admitting someone into the kitchens.
She widened her eyes in horror when she saw who it was.
He jumped, then turned to look at her.
"Weasley. So, I embarrass you so much that you've retreated to the kitchens?" he smirked. "That's not very Gryffindor of you, now is it?"
"Sod off," she said, disheartened. She didn't feel up to fighting with him right now, she was still trying to recoup from Potions.
A house-elf ran up to Draco, and offered him food similar to Ginny's plate. Then, she practically pushed him into the seat next to Ginny's, and scampered off to bake some rolls.
She glared at him.
"Can't you move?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," he scornfully replied. "Is my poisonous personality offending you?"
Ginny looked up, curious. Was that a hint of hurt in his voice?
Seeing her questioning look, he continued.
"Just because I don't worship Potter, or think well of your house, doesn't mean I'm a complete prat."
She looked astonished. Could Draco Malfoy have a soul?
"Hmmm. Draco is not as tough as we all thought? He has feelings? Head for the hills, the apocalypse is dawning!"
He snorted into his mashed potatoes. "I didn't ask to be a git, I was raised that way," he took a sip of his pumpkin juice. "We can't help who we are."
"Should I be believing this from you?"
He shrugged. "Believe what you will. My father doesn't have any informants down here, so I can say whatever I damn feel like. He's probably off prancing with Voldemort."
Ginny looked taken about. It was well rumored that Draco was a full-fledged Death Eater, and possibly next in line for leader of the next generation of evil-doers.
"You mean you're not . . . you don't support . . . "
He yanked back his right sleeve, displaying a nearly-spotless forearm.
He looked at her, eyes harsh. His words came out frosty. "Just because my father supports the ramblings of a madman doesn't mean I do to. I may be hateful, but I'm far from evil."
Ginny looked at him, regret on her features. "I'm sorry," she said. "I just expected—"
"You expected me to be a clone of my father."
"I am sorry."
"It's reasonable. Everyone things so."
"But you aren't?"
He sighed. "Have you even been listening? No, no, a thousand times no." He waved his arm in the air. "Look, no Dark Mark. Proof enough?"
"Yes," she said. She was trying to register all this information. Draco was a git, but a nice one. A nice git? Strange, very strange. But Draco Malfoy wasn't your average person, and this proved it further.
Something still bugged her though, and it nagged at the tip of her tongue until she finally said it.
"Why are you telling me this?"
Draco looked slightly taken aback by the question. "I don't know." He screwed up his brow in thought, a gesture that Ginny secretly thought to be immensely attractive. He finally abandoned whatever reasons he was grappling with, and just shrugged.
"Blame it on the night."
Ginny, sensing he didn't want to further discuss it, dropped the subject, and they spent the rest of their meal talking about the professors, Quidditch, and any other thing that happened to jump at their attention.
Finally, Draco glanced at the watch on his wrist.
"Wow," he muttered.
He looked at her, impressed. "It's all ready eight. We've been down here for nearly three hours."
Ginny gaped. Three hours? Miranda must have torn the castle apart looking for her.
"This would probably be a good time to leave."
Draco smiled, the first genuine smile she had ever seen grace his face.
"Agreed. Can I escort you to the door?" He offered his arm to her in genteel fashion, and she accepted it, adopting a look mocking royalty.
The crossed the small distance, and she paused.
"This was a one time thing, wasn't it?"
He sighed, and ruffled his hair. "Maybe, maybe not. It was fun, maybe we'll have a chance to do it again."
She smiled. "You know, you're really not as big of a bastard as I thought you were."
He grinned. "You'll change your mind when you see what I'm going to do to your brother tomorrow." He gestured to the opening. "You go first, so you won't have to worry about anyone seeing us together."
"Thanks," she said, then, on some strange impulse, she leaned in and kissed his cheek. "Good night."