Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything belongs to J.K. Rowling.
The Surprise of the Change
For the fifth time in as many minutes Harry turned to look at Ginny. Ever since that incident in the Great Hall two days ago, she'd been avoiding him like the plague. He didn't know how to go about approaching her, despite the dressing down he'd received from Hermione. What she said to him was nothing compared that what Dumbledore had done. He'd deducted thirty points from Gryffindor, despite the fact that he gave Hermione fifteen. Harry had been ordered to apologize to Ginny and then he'd been given several detentions, all with Snape, the first of which started today. He sighed. How was it he got into this mess?
He glanced at Ginny again and noticed he was not the only one watching her. He blocked out the sound of Professor Trelawny's ravings about events that were supposed to happen in the future. She was such a fraud. He glanced at Malfoy noticing the way Malfoy's eyes seemed to soften around the edges when he looked at Ginny. Harry almost laughed. It seemed Malfoy finally had a crush on someone he couldn't have. Ginny would never touch him. It was somewhat mean, but he couldn't help being glad about it. He was about to nudge Hermione to point out Draco's new interest in young girls with red hair when he was pinched on the arm. He bit his lip to avoid crying out. Professor Trelawny hated being interrupted.
"Merlin's sake, Pansy. Why'd you pinch me?"
"Don't you even think about interfering in Draco's business. I will make your life a neverending hell if you do anything to hurt him or Virginia Weasley. He likes her. A lot. And despite the fact that I hate you Gryffindors, right now he needs all the friends he can get. If he decides to approach her, I want you to swear that you won't do a thing to stop him. No snide remarks, no tattling to her brother, no running to Dumbledore. You leave both of them be. After the other day, I think it would be a welcome relief for Virginia."
Harry gaped at her, his mouth opening and closing like a fish caught on land gasping for air. "Are you off your rocker? I'm not letting him anywhere near her."
"It's not your choice. You gave up that right when you ignored her for almost six years. Deal with it and leave both of them alone. I'll get Draco to back off of you and your friends as well."
Harry was stunned. It was definitely not his week with females. And why was Pansy Parkinson defending Ginny? The last that he knew the Slytherin girl hated everything Gryffindor, especially Ginny Weasley. "Why are you defending her all of a sudden? You've picked on her just as much as anyone else."
Pansy sneered at him. "I may pick on her but I don't envy seeing other people have their heart ripped out and crushed beneath someone's boot like it meant nothing. I may be a Slytherin but I'm not completely vicious. No wonder that sorting hat couldn't make up it's mind your first year. There's actually some evil in you after all, Harry Potter."
Ginny heard Pansy Parkinson whispering behind her and wondered who she was tormenting. She turned slightly just in time to see Harry blush as Pansy hissed something at him. They both spotted her and Harry looked away. Then something extremely odd occurred. Pansy Parkinson smiled at her. It was a real, genuine smile. Wondering what was going on with everyone lately, she returned the smile and then went back to looking at her book. She wasn't the only one to notice Pansy's odd behavior.
Draco watched his housemate carefully. Pansy never smiled at Virginia. Ever. Something strange was going on in the school. Everyone was acting crazy. 'Or maybe we're all just growing up,' he thought, wondering if that was the case. 'Well, not all of us,' he corrected silently, glancing at Potter who still wouldn't look at Virginia. He loved her name. He couldn't bring himself to call her Ginny. It was just so…childish, and she was anything but. Gin would suit her. Like the drink she'd cause a slow burn inside his chest. He knew that she could scorch him if he ever let her close.
Thinking of her always made him remember his favorite poem. No one knew that he was truly fascinated by muggle literature. It wasn't filled with facts and figures and definitions. It was a place that he could escape to…much like Gin and her meadow. He smirked. That's what he'd call her from now on. Gin. He watched as she ran her fingers through her hair and in his mind he pictured her as she had been in her meadow. It was the only time he'd ever see her really free. There she was not a Weasley, not the girl who was once infatuated with Potter, she was not the girl who was picked on or ignored. She was a water sprite frolicking in her natural environment.
He had to have her. This compulsion of watching her was driving him mad. He knew he couldn't be overt. Her brother would drive them apart. He had to get her to love him before anyone could know. Now he just had to figure out how to get her attention. He glanced at Potter and the boy was watching him. He could tell that Potter knew. He just smirked and hoped that he would be able to win Gin's love before Potter or her brother interfered.