Good god. Can it be? Yes, I do believe it's MFW's ninth chapter!

We have actually updated!

Disclaimer: Don't hold ownership over Harry Potter characters, as they owned by JKR and other rich people.

~!~

Ginny gave a loud sob, the sound muffled by the pillow she had buried her head in. She reached out toward the tissue box sitting on her dresser, searching for a relief from her running nose. Finding none, she gave a loud cry and flung the box across the room. She sighed, settling back into the bed as she thought back to earlier in the day.

After the astounding performance, there had been a stunned silence as the meaning of the touching music sunk into every single brain in the room. Then, it was like a stampede had occurred in that very room as everyone, including Harry, had rushed to the front of the room in order to talk to the genius who had been able to draw the very story, the very emotions of the characters out of a piece of music. Ginny had been pushed to the side, her performance quickly forgotten.

"It's not fair!" Ginny cried out, her hands fisting at her sides.

"What's not fair?" Ron poked his head through the doorway, quizzical eyes watching Ginny.

Ginny looked at her brother, then turned over in her bed. "Go away, Ron."

Ron shook his head before moving entirely into the room, then taking a space on Ginny's bed. "No, Ginny. You've been sitting in here, crying, ever since you came home from Lupin's class. Why? Is it something that Malfoy did?" he asked anxiously.

Ginny sighed, sitting up on the bed. She thought back to the way he had embarrassed her … "In a way …"

Ron's eyes darkened immediately. "What Ginny? What did the git do?"

"Oh, Ron!" Ginny wailed, flinging her arms around him in a hug. "He played s-s-sooo beautifully today that you can just im-m-magine the story from the notes coming out of the violin!"

"Oh … is that all?" Ron asked, clearly confused.

Ginny looked up at him, staring at him in disbelief. "Is that all? IS THAT ALL?! Ron, he was wonderful! How can such a git have so much talent?" Ginny sniffed. "The way I played made the music sound so … lifeless. He made it come alive! It was so moving, it touched everybody's heart … Oh, I'll never be able to play like that! Never!"

Ron stared helplessly as his sister burst into tears all over again. He patted her back comfortingly, not quite knowing what to say and saying something anyways.

"There there, Gin. It's not that big of a deal, is it? Come on, chin up," Ron said encouragingly.

"But it is a big deal, Ron! I didn't think-I mean, I never thought-" Ginny took the handkerchief Ron handed her and blasted her nose in it. "I never thought-music was anything-more-than mu-music, and then he goes and-and he ruins everything. How am I supposed to beat him? Ron, I can't do this! I don't know about this anymore!" Ginny sobbed. Ron bit his lip, and soothingly stroked Ginny's hair.

"Oh, chin up, Gin. All-all this means, is that Malfoy's….had a bit of a…head start. You work hard enough, you'll catch up with him, don't worry. I mean, wasn't there that old Chinese saying? Er, 'the student always bests the teacher'? Something like that?"

"Not very bloody likely. And have you noticed that we aren't exactly Chinese here?!" Ginny snapped back.

"Cariad, it's a saying. Not a race-definitive," Ron replied, scathingly.

"Well in either case, I'm screwed. Effed up beyond all. By the end of the bet, I'll be the laughingstock of the town, or even worse, absolutely forgotten, scorned, and kicked out," Ginny said bitterly.

"No you won't," Ron said with a sudden firmness in his voice. "Let me tell you something, Gin. When I see you, I see a sister with the tenacity of a bulldog. Remember how you wanted that Little Muggle Mary doll set? It took you two years, but you finally sold enough lemonade to buy the exclusive prom version. How about when Fred and George wouldn't let you into their "club"? For one week straight, you sat outside their room singing the never-ending song until they broke down and let you in. Of course, you drove them a tad insane, but that's understandable. Now you're telling me that you want to give up on something that has moved you to-to tears? No-don't nod! Sis, you're a great girl. Take it from a bum like me; talent isn't to be taken lightly."

"Talent? What talent? I have all the talent of a bullfrog," Ginny scoffed unhappily, but Ron shook his head.

"Gin, you're as bad as Malfoy lets you think. You might really have something here, though here and there, there are holes, but why don't you think Malfoy has given up on you yet? It's been a month; he hasn't kicked you out yet. If you had no talent, you really think he'd let you stay? No, of course not. You'd be back where you were, blowing noise out of a little tin box with holes."

"It's a harmonica, Ron!" Ginny sniffed, but she smiled faintly.

"That's my girl," Ron grinned and gave her a one armed hug. "Now Malfoy [ugh] tells me that there's a certain concert that he wants to take you to- please tell me it's not a date, Ginny! Please!- but he said something about extra practice hours for preparation. Dare you take up that challenge?"

Ginny nearly groaned, but she bit her lip, and grimaced bravely. "I can do it. I will do it. I'm ready-"

"Perfect, because you have two hours of practice, starting in oh, five minutes. Get to it, chop chop," Draco's voice said from outside the room, making Ginny and Ron jump. He appeared for a brief moment in their view. "Hurry, I'm waiting."

"-I think," Ginny finished weakly as Draco's footsteps echoed down the corridor. "You think he overheard us?" she asked Ron nervously. Her brother just gave an evasive shrug.

"Don't know, Gin. If he was, wouldn't he have come in earlier and give us all a telling off?" he replied, and Ginny smiled brightly.

"You're right. The cad wouldn't give me the pleasure of being cheered up, would he?" she said readily, then stood up and brushed herself off. "I'll be going now," she said with a resigned sigh.

Ron was just relaxing; when his sister stuck her head back in.

"By the way, Ron…" she hesitated, and bit her lip. "Thanks for, you know…being there and…"

Ron grinned widely. "Go on, get out," he shooed, and she grinned and left. Ron let his breath come shooting out like a rocket. Malfoy, overhearing them? That was actually much more plausible than Ginny would have thought. After all, it had been Malfoy who'd requested him to talk to her, after they'd returned from Lupins' class. Ron had thought he looked slightly irritated when he came into his room, and his tone and choice of words were rather caustic, but had that been- no, it couldn't have. Malfoys don't feel concern, and worry certainly never shine from their eyes.

~

"This is what you will be starting today," Draco said, plunking a thick sheaf of sheet music with flourish onto Ginny's rickety music stand.

"Fritz Kreisler's  Praeladium and Allegro. His Liebeslied. The Symphonie Espagnole. You'll be playing them all," he said smugly, nearly cracking from glee. Ron coughed and looked over Ginny's shoulder at the huge amounts of notes and general craziness on one sheet of music.

"Malfoy- don't you think that's a bit-a bit overboard?" he asked dubiously.

"Overboard? Nonsense. This is Ginny's sixth week. She'll be fine," Draco snorted, rolling up his sleeves and crossing his arms over his chest.

"Ginny? Ginny, answer me, dear," Ron said, ignoring Draco as he poked his sister. Ginny was in a state of catatonic shock. Those were- a lot, a lot of bloody notes, and they were dancing so fast!

"Ablah ra abwah heh?" she managed to say.

"Sorry? Anyways, we'd better get started if we want to learn all this by Orla's concert, no?" Draco said cheerfully as he shuffled the pages to the Praeladium.

"Co-concert? As in the concert in seven weeks? That concert? Because if it's that concert, I don't know if I can…" Ginny protested feebly, still staring at the page.

"Of course you can. Now you're going to sight read this page while your brother here gets to lunch. Now! Go on," Draco said briskly, shooing a glaring Ron off to the kitchen. He had decided that Ron would have to earn his keep, and while the redhead was a klutz at dusting, he had surprising skills in the kitchen. Of course, poisoning was a major concern; however Draco didn't think the Weasley honor had sunk so low yet. He turned back to Ginny whose eyes were watering from trying to read the notes.

"Professor, this-this is a giant leap from Adoration, don't you think?" she asked desperately. Draco looked over the music.

"Weasley, believe it or not, I wouldn't give you anything if I didn't think you could handle it," he said breezily. Ginny blinked.

"You-you really think I can handle this?" she asked incredulously. Draco rolled his eyes and glared at her.

"Don't push it, you," he growled, but Ginny was already in spastic ecstasy.

"I-You believe in me? Really? Really? Oh, Professor Malfoy! I never thought-"

"WEASLEY! GET! PLAYING!" Draco roared, and Ginny immediately snapped her attention back to the music.

~!~

Oooh, Kreisler is fun music. Of course…I never finished even one half of the Praeladium…=^^=;;

Anyways. This took an awful long time!

But I assure you, everything's still coming along swimmingly.

So see you next year?

Thanks to [too lazy to write complete responses…hee]:

Anndy Malfoy, Neytari Took, Airiya, SilverDragon, h.s., Lady Silver Dragon I, and Kai baby-girl

Your feedback is very, VERY much appreciated!!!