I. Despising Astoria

Astoria Greengrass had caught Draco Malfoy's eye.

Even though Voldemort was defeated, the pureblood family didn't seem to falter in riches or status. They still seemed respected and revered. Ginny had noticed that even with his parents being in hot water and currently on trial, their family name was not in ruins. Yes, pro-Voldmort individuals were often criticized for their involvement, but they weren't stripped of their status or possessions. The Ministry felt that in order for things to evolve and get pass these unfortunate events that their involvement was swept under the carpet. It could've had to do with the fact the families compensated the Ministry with riches to keep them silent.

Ginny hadn't expected the Malfoy heir to take up any occupation, but he had showed up at the elite potion-making course. He was apparently studying to be a healer. For what purposes, she didn't know. All she did know was that Draco excelled and mastered the art of potion making quite spectacularly. Although, Ginny would never admit that she was impressed by his ability nor would he even care to acknowledge her opinion, she couldn't help but stand in awe of him.

Perhaps, that's when her fascination with him began when she was chosen alongside of Draco to apprentice Lord Thomas DeSavon. The spent many days and nights together. She supposed it was during this time that she foolishly started believing that Draco and her were developing an odd relationship. So when she had the chance meeting of running into Draco with his old school friend at Diagon Alley, she was sorely disappointed when she was the but of their cruel jokes and Draco has joined in on the horrid treatment. This had put tremendous strain on their partnership and budding friendship.

Although Draco had apologized profusely, she refused to forgive him. He had invited her to a Christmas masquerade at Malfoy Manor. Curious, she decided to attend in double the masquerade. She had changed her appearance entirely. With the additional masquerade attire, it put her fears to rest that she would be recognized.

She watched Draco and Astoria interact throughout the night. The way they got along and how she was readily accepted into his social circle infuriated her. She watched them flirt and share a passionate kiss in the hallway when Astoria caught him unaware when Draco had come or from the bathroom. Ginny's blood boiled at the sight of the two of them. She absolutely loathed Astoria Greengrass!

When Astoria left the Draco's personal study to get some refreshments and to get s breather, Ginny had slipped inside unnoticed until she was right behind him. He stood on the balcony overlooking the acres.

"She is quite the beautiful flower," she called out to him sarcastically.

Draco froze then turned around slowly. His eyes focused on hers before a smirk crossed his face. "So good of you to join me on this fine night, Miss Weasley."

"Save your charm, Malfoy," she growled, walking over to him until they were mere inches apart. "Tell me, what makes Astoria so bloody special? Is it because she went from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan? Is that why you weak, disgraceful lot fawn after her?"

Draco opened his mouth to protest on Astoria's behalf when his eyes widened and his eyebrows shot up in surprise. "You're jealous," he said in amazement. Ginny blushed, shaking her head in denial. One again that smirk appeared to her dismay. "What do you have against Astoria to make you hate her, Ginny?"

"I-I don't hate her," she stammered.

Draco chuckled. "You're so transparent."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"It means," Draco began, flicking his wand at the door and locking the door. "You want me. Admit it it." Once again, she shook her head in denial, which only made the light in Draco's eyes strengthen. "I never believed that you, much less a Weasley, would ever desire a Malfoy."

"I don't!"

Any belief that her protest was true disappeared when her eyes drew to his mouth when he approached her. When he captured her mouth in a tender kiss, her lies became even more apparent when she immediately responded with all her fire and pent-up forbidden desires. She wanted him and craved his touch. He was so different from her in his response.

She seemed to want ravage him and devour him. He held back. He was in control of himself and his emotions. Then there was a knock at the door that effectively knocked her out of her trance. It was Astoria's voice that brought her back to reality. Draco had kissed Astoria with wild abandon. She realized then it wasn't him holding back. He was devoid of any emotion and passion to her. As he was supposed to be, he was a Malfoy and Malfoys despised blood traitors. She forced herself to look into the iciness of his eyes and she knew the truth.

"Draco?" Astoria called out. "Are you in there? It's locked."

Draco finally looked away and turned slightly to the door. "Hold on. I'll join you..."

Ginny heard him trail off when he looked to the spot where she had been. She had cloaked herself with invisibility and watched him as he looked about. He sighed then righted his appearance before he walked to the door and unlocked it. She watched as Astoria greeted him warmly and waited until Draco had left the study to reappear.

As tears fell down her cheeks, she vowed that she would never let him see her cry. When she came back downstairs, she hoped to leave unnoticed. She heard a woman laugh catching her attention briefly. Astoria was laughing at something said within the circle of people. The beautiful woman clung to Draco and Ginny's heart shattered. Of course he would want her. She bit her bottom lip to keep the tears from falling. It didn't matter though she realized when her eyes found Draco starting right at her. She was sure Draco saw the pain in her eyes. It was written all over her she was certain.

She quickly exited the manor. She vowed she would never let Draco Malfoy see her weakness again.