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Summary: A ballroom dance... Yet not everyone is happy. That night, Ginny knows that it will end at an extreme. Blissful love, she guesses. But is that- or tragedy? The next few weeks seemed to pass in a blur. Most nights she met up with Draco, and some of the time they managed to keep their hands off each other long enough to practice dueling for a little while- though Ginny doubted the Death Eaters would be as reluctant to hurt her as he was. He frustrated her often; sometimes he would meet up with her all sullen and cold and locked up in his own thoughts, but she learnt quickly not to bring attention to it as it always ended with him snapping at her. Sometimes, she felt their differences were too much to bear, and that it was too hard to continue together when half of the school was against it. Then he would look at her, or simply smile and she knew that she could never leave him.

Professor Snape had developed a nasty habit of finding them in whichever dark corner they were in, and only in the Room of Requirement were they ever really concealed. Harry moped around for two or three days, and then seemed (with many lengthy sighs and mournful glances) to get over her. Indeed, after about a week he began sneaking out and coming back looking exactly like Ginny had on that night Hermione had talked to her- albeit the feminine features of course.

As for Ron and Hermione, Ginny felt that not much had progressed. Hermione was even more waspish than usual around him for a few days, and Ron turned even pinker in the ears for the same amount of time but eventually they seemed to settle down to normal. A couple of times though, Ginny noticed Ron pouring over what looked like a catalogue for hours at a time and she wondered whether it had anything to do with Hermione’s nearing seventeenth birthday.

Of course, the weekly dueling practices with the trio and Draco and Ginny did not improve- in fact they got worse. It was then that Harry seemed to remember that Draco had snatched his girlfriend from under his very nose, and the spells came thick and fast between them. Once, Ginny and Hermione had to drag the two apart, for although they never touched the spells were used with such ferocity that Harry got a blood nose and Draco ended up with a split lip. In that fight however, Draco came better off- Harry got a good scolding from Hermione and Draco got a kiss to ‘make it better’ from Ginny.

Ginny found that after a few weeks, things were different in the face of the general school population. Those girls who were not ignoring her (in the secret rebel poll that went around Hogwarts, Draco had been voted ‘sexiest male’ and many were more then a little annoyed that Ginny had taken him off the bachelor status) stopped their teases and the boys soon dropped the dirty jokes- people seemed to realise that they were more than just a fling, and Ginny and Draco became one of those rare things at Secondary School- a proper item. She loved the way that people regarded them seriously, and though the polls about how long they would last hurt her, she generally went untouched by the schools remarks about them.

As for Draco, he was so used to be a thing of gossip at the school that it flew right over his head. Though often the Slytherin boys snickered when they were found kissing somewhere, or even just sitting together (and therefore inevitably playing ‘footsies’) Draco was not usually teased as Ginny was- for he was the Slytherin Prince and none but Blaise Zabini dared mess around with him. Draco often thought grimly that Zabini’s day was coming, for he was getting to big for his boots and being made a sort of honoree member of Draco’s close circle (if they were close) had gone to his head.

In Slytherin there was a kind of hierarchy and Draco had to stay on top of that- for people often tried to take control. So far, none had succeeded, but Draco often got challenges for a duel from Slytherin males. He had a natural talent at dueling- not to mention the extra training he’d been doing- and always won. The kind of would be rulers that he despised most though, were the ones like Blaise Zabini- for they would lick his feet but the moment his face was turned would stab him in the back.

Draco had once tried to explain this to Ginny, but she hadn’t understood. She was a Gryffindor, he often had to remind himself. And despite her temper she was not anything like a Slytherin; she could not understand the way their world worked.

The day of the ball grew nearer, and Ginny was growing more and more excited. The only thing she worried about was her outfit- she had the dress she had worn the dreadful night he had told her about the prophecy, but it was not ball-worthy. As beautiful as it was, it was not the kind one wore to a dance, and so she worried.

On the weekend before the ball it was the first Hogsmeade visit, and Draco requested permission to go with her- which she immediately accepted, of course. The day came with snow, and Ginny’s heart sang as she stepped out next to the carriages to find Draco there ready to help her up into them. They did not kiss in the carriage, for they were forced to share it with Crabbe and Goyle- and Ginny still hated Goyle with a passion, as did Draco yet Goyle refused to as Ginny so eloquently put it ‘bugger off’- but they sat very, very close.

Later, wandering around Hogsmeade in a dreamy haze Draco announced that he had a surprise for her.

“What is it?” she laughed, breath coming in frosty sheets through the air.

“If I told you it wouldn’t be a surprise,” he replied firmly and gripped her gloved hand in his. He led her along the main street and then off into a small avenue that branched off from it. Down a couple of shops there was a small, warm boutique with impeccable plastic model dolls in the window wearing beautiful dresses.

“In here,” he whispered in her ear, and Ginny feeling great warmth grow inside her stepped into the shop with a tinkle of bells.

The woman behind the counter was very thin and very tall. She looked down at Ginny with a steely eye and took in her shabby cloak and gloves with a hole in the little finger. Her lips curved upwards into a sneer and she was about to make a rude remark when Draco coughed slightly. Her eyes took in his pale face and garments, and swiftly deducted that he was a rich customer, even if this girl was not.

“May I help you?” she said airily.

“I’m looking for the ballroom dresses,” Draco said as if he did this every day. Ginny looked around her in wonder at the beautiful clothes and made a mental note to be incredibly rich when she was older so that she could afford things like these.

“This way,” the woman said, leading them to a small corner of the shop were there hung several gorgeous dresses. Ginny’s amazed eye wandered dreamily over all of them, taking in their color and shape and then one caught her eye.

It was silver, and quite tight around the top half with a low cut neck that made Ginny a little pink. It had a slender piece of material that went around the bodice a second time, like a sash but slightly thicker with a dark green flower attached to the top. The skirt flared out, and it had no sleeves, becoming a ‘boob tube’. A pair of long silver gloves came with it. It was, to describe it in one word, exquisite.

Reaching out a shaking hand, Ginny stroked the silk material and then took her hand away reverently. Draco smiled at her.

“Yes, I picked that one for you too.” Ginny eyes widened and her mouth moved to form one word: me?

“Well, we’re not here to buy a dress for me,” he said rather amused.

“But,” she whispered, gaining her powers of speech. “It must be so expensive…”

“Don’t worry about that,” he said sharply. “It’s a gift.”

“Draco, I couldn’t-” she began, but he interrupted her.

“No, you can- you just won’t. But it’s not a negotiable matter. I’m buying a dress for you. So say thank you, Ginevra.”

She stared at him. Finally… “Thank you,” she murmured.

“You’re quite welcome. Now try it on.”

Taking it with shaking hands, she went into the dressing room and tried it on. It was a perfect fit, and when the woman passed her a silver tiara that went with it, Ginny thought she would burst with happiness. When she came out, she twirled around, the dress flaring out and smiled at Draco.

“What do you think?” she laughed.

He stared at her, words catching in his throat. It seemed to him that he’d never seen anything so beautiful, and so he just nodded. She didn’t mind. The way he had looked at her was enough.

She changed back into her normal clothes, first trying on a dainty pair of silver slippers (she again refused to wear heels) and watched breathlessly as the woman wrapped it up. She flushed a little when Draco handed the woman a velvet black bag of galleons and the woman handed back only two sickles change, but Draco didn’t seem to care and so Ginny swallowed her pride, instead whispering another thank you.

Taking the brown paper bag the woman handed her, Ginny stepped outside and shivered as the cold wind hit her with force. Draco smiled, and led her to the Three Broomsticks, ordering two butterbeers and sliding next to her in a small closed off booth.

He smiled at her and kissed her gently, hands stroking her face as she leaned onto him. His kiss was so familiar now, and she could usually tell what mood he was in by the way he kissed her. Now, she decided, he was as close to happy as he could come. They broke apart only as the waitress brought their drinks over.

She was a giggling fourteen year old obviously on part time work and seemed to break into hysterics at every “girlfriend/boyfriend” thing she saw about them. The kissing had her in furious muffled giggles- when she saw that Ginny was all but on his lap and their legs entwined under the table she almost fell over from laughing. When she finally managed to leave without tripping in her blind laughter, Draco growled angrily under his breath.

“Damn immature waitresses and their teenage acne,” he cursed.

Ginny had found the whole thing rather funny. “I had pimples when I was about her age,” she reminded him gently.

“Yes,” he agreed. “But you had them with style.”

***

That evening they once again sat in the Astronomy Tower for a little while, just looking at the other. “Thank you for the dress,” Ginny murmured for the seventh time that day.

He shrugged, a little embarrassed. “It was my pleasure,” he replied. His gaze was so intense that she blushed a little. Yet she met his gaze evenly and they were content to just watch each other. Eventually she shifted and sat with her head fitting neatly under his chin, leaning against his chest.

“I saw Potter and co. today,” he said unexpectedly.

Ginny was confused. It wasn’t like him to talk about the doings of the three. “So?” she asked.

“So I thought even Potter wouldn’t be so completely stupid as to follow around a couple who’re dating,” he said witheringly.

“As in Hermione and Ron?” Ginny laughed.

“Yes.”

“Draco,” she snickered. “They’re not dating. They never have been.”

He frowned. “Then why do they…” he trailed off.

“I know! But Ron’s too shy and Hermione’s still old fashioned in a way- she thinks the boy should always ask the girl out.”

He shrugged. “Like I care, anyway. I just wondered.”

She smiled. “Contradictory statements,” she pointed out.

He shrugged. “Whatever.”

Ginny sighed and laid her head back against him. “Snape was just foul on Wednesday,” she muttered.

He smiled in the twilight. “How so?”

She sighed. “He gave me a detention, because apparently my ‘frivolous and giggling behavior was detrimental to the class’s progress’. I didn’t get any dinner. Had to raid the kitchens.”

He stroked her hair. “That’s too bad.”

“And he hates me during those lessons we have with him. He’s a slimy bastard.”

“Yes.”

“He is the most unreasonable git I’ve ever met.”

“He is.”

She frowned at him. “I’m getting the feeling you’re making fun of me, Draco Malfoy.”

“How could you think that, Ginny dear?” he asked sarcastically.

“Well, I’m leaving,” she huffed mockingly. “No point hanging around where I’m not wanted.”

“Definitely not.” He turned her around and kissed her, Ginny relaxing in his warmth and returning the kiss put her hands up in his hair. Breaking apart and panting, he watched her with a smirk. “I’ll take you to your common room.”

She nodded, and slipped her hand in the crook of his arm. They walked slowly down the flight of stairs, with many a stop in a dark cranny to have a snog. She was breathless by the time they reached the portrait of the Fat Lady and her mouth was tingling. Leaning against her Draco kissed her once more, passionately and hard while she used her hands to travel across Draco’s back.

A disgusted groan brought them both back to the present. “Oh come on, you had all day at Hogsmeade to do that,” Dean Thomas sneered, while Seamus sniggered beside him. Ginny growled under her breath as Draco pulled away from her, once again amused. Every part of her felt she was on fire- damn those boys!

“Goodnight, Ginny,” drawled Draco. Ginny was too out of breath to manage to say anything- she was only able to give him a slight pout to show her displeasure. He laughed softly under his breath and raising his hand in a final wave he turned and strode away.

“Chocolate frog,” snapped Ginny once she had caught her breath. Sticking her tongue out and Seamus and Dean, she pushed past them and into the Common Room.

***

It was the day of the dance and Ginny found that she was practically dancing everywhere. She hadn’t seen Draco all day but then, she reminded herself, she was sure to see a lot of him tonight. The ball was to start the Christmas holidays, Dumbledore had announced but Ginny had decided to stay at Hogwarts, because Harry was going to the Burrow and Ginny wanted to give them some room- although Draco announcing that he would be staying over the holidays might have had some influence upon her decision.

She walked back from the last lesson that day having to willfully force herself not to skip. Entering the Common Room she saw that it was empty, save for one girl hunched up in a corner crying. Going over to her, Ginny found to her dismay that it was Hermione.

“ ‘Mione, what’s wrong?” she asked concernedly.

Hermione looked up. “Oh,” she sniffed, wiping away her tears with a sleeve. “Nothing, really. I’d just been hoping that… that…” she burst into tears again.

“What, ‘Mione? You’d been hoping that what?” Ginny had a sinking feeling that she already knew.

“That- that Ron might ask me to the dance,” cried Hermione. “I just- letting that slip the other night, when you told them about Malfoy. I really thought that he might get it after that, even though I didn’t mean to- to say it.”

“Oh God, Hermione,” Ginny said, hugging the older girl. “Don’t let him get you down. Come up with me and once you’ve got dressed come into my room and I’ll do your make-up for you again, like at the Yule Ball, if you do my hair, okay?”

Hermione nodded and sniffed hard. “Being silly,” she murmured. “Thanks, Gin.” Ginny nodded and Hermione went up to the dormitory. Ginny waited downstairs.

Ten minutes later, Harry and Ron walked in. Ginny did not hesitate- she walked straight over to Ron and slapped him hard across the face.

“Ow!” yelled Ron. “What was that for?”

“You,” Ginny told him haughtily. “Are an insensitive brat. Making yourself miserable over a girl is one thing but making her upset too is completely barbaric! I’m ashamed of you, Ronald Billius Weasley!”
She stormed up to the dormitory to get ready, Ron and Harry looking on bewildered.

***

Several hours later, Ginny and Hermione descended to find the boys waiting for them at the bottom of the stairs. Ginny was wearing the dress Draco had given her and Hermione had put her hair up into a French Knot at the top of her head. A white rose (stalk snipped off and a careful preserving charm placed upon it) rested on the top of her head, and two locks fell down to frame her face. She had once again opted to not wear make-up.

Hermione was wearing a beautiful crimson dress, also a boob-tube that clung to her every curve and with a slight cut going halfway up, revealing a pale and very toned leg. She had a golden wrap that she clutched around her, and her hair had once again been straightened out, falling all the way down her back. Harry and Ron realized to their amazement that she had let it grow, concealing its length in the messy buns she wore everyday, and it reached down to her waist.

Ginny smirked slightly to herself when she saw Ron turn pink and mutter out something about looking ‘very nice’. The four opened the portrait and Harry turned to Ginny, puzzled.

“Where’s Malfoy?”

“Oh, he’s meeting me at the ball,” she said vaguely, concealing the fact that she had no idea where he was meeting her.

“Okay. Hey guys, mind if we pass by the Ravenclaw Common Room? It’s on our way, and someone asked me to pick them up there.”

Ginny and Hermione exchanged a glance and at the rolling of eyes that Hermione did, Ginny had to muffle a giggle with her gloved hand. They agreed to and waited outside a large mirror on the fifth floor. After two minutes, an elegant blonde stepped out and smiling dreamily took Harry’s offered arm.

Hermione, Ron and Ginny stared at the girl for a moment- all were sure they had seen her somewhere before. Suddenly, Ron realized who it was and exclaimed out loud.

“Lovegood! Loon- er, Luna Lovegood!”

It was indeed Luna! Harry was turning a ferocious shade of red and Hermione and Ginny were in silent fits of laughter. “Hello Ronald,” Luna said mistily before leading the group forward on Harry’s arm.

It was a comical journey. Ginny and Hermione kept tripping in their quiet giggles and Harry kept looking over his shoulder and shooting them worried looks, while Ron wandered just ahead of Ginny and Hermione rather bemused.

They finally reached the Great Hall, and wandering in they found that it had again been changed into a dancing area. The tables had been put around the edges of the room and now held bowls of confectionary, crisps and drinks and there was a large stage at the top end of the room where musicians roamed, testing speakers and such. Although Ginny scanned the room, there was no Draco.

For half an hour Ginny stood there aimlessly looking lonely while the group separated and went off their different ways. She saw Harry talking intently to Luna in a corner, Hermione chatting avidly to Lavender Brown and Ron involved in a furious discussion with Dean Thomas. From the redness of Ron’s face and the amount of gesturing he was doing with his hands, Ginny guessed that he was giving a lecture about Quidditch.

She felt like crying. What was with this boy? He bought her an expensive dress, asked to take her to the ball and then didn’t turn up- she didn’t understand him! With a forceful act of will, she brought back her mind and concentrated on Dumbledore, who was two minutes into his speech.

“In this ball we are bringing forth a unique situation of music. Several of our well known wizarding bands will be playing here, including the highly acclaimed band, The Weird Sisters-” There was a loud burst of applause and a couple of the people standing around Dumbledore grinned and raised very heavily ringed hands to wave at the group. “Yes, thank you!” laughed Dumbledore.

“But tonight,” he continued. “Two rather special things will be happening. One is that the bands will mix up, so for instance one ‘Weird Sister’ may play with a member of Illusions and then another performer from Heavily Fanged Dragons in Pink.” At the name of the last band the group of students dressed in black dresses, high boots and fishnet stockings whistled.

“The other thing is that they will not be playing any of their own songs. In an attempt to embrace other music, the only songs played tonight will be muggle ones.” There were immediately a lot of murmurs, cries of surprise and curious faces. Ginny caught sight of a bunch of Slytherin’s looking very annoyed.

Draco was not among them.

Dumbledore stepped back and clapped his hands. A member of The Weird Sisters began playing a gentle tune on guitar. She heard some muggle born across the room squeal something to do with “Don’t Ever by Missy Higgins!”

She felt tears prick at her eyes as people began pairing off and swaying gently to the music. She saw Harry gently wrap his arms around Luna’s waist. She saw Ron stammer out something to Hermione who turned red enough to make a Weasley proud.

And then suddenly he was there, standing behind her, chin resting on her head. His smell drifted down to her and a long arm snuck around her waist. She took a deep breath and leaned back into his chest.

“What if,” drawled his amused voice over her shoulder. “I turned out to be Goyle?”

She suppressed the urge to laugh. “You’re late,” she said sternly.

“I was a little slower than expected,” his reply came evenly.

“In other words you hadn’t finished making yourself pretty on time,” she said dryly.

“Let me see you.” He took her shoulders and gently spun her around. Her eyes met his and she suddenly felt worried. Had she made the right decision to not wear make-up? Did she look all right? Should she have put her hair down? All her worries faded however when she saw the smile playing on his face.

“You look beautiful,” he murmured. “Almost as beautiful as the most beautiful woman I ever saw.”

She stiffened a little. “Who was that?” she snapped.

“You were standing by the lake one day. You hadn’t seen me.” he swallowed hard. “The wind was in your hair. You annoyed me.”

Her throat was dry. “Why were you annoyed at me?” she whispered.

“Not now, Ginevra Weasley,” he replied, amused as ever. “I made you miss the first dance. It’s time for the second now.”

She slipped her hand into his and smiled shyly up at him. The second began and Draco almost laughed- she could see it dancing in his eyes. How could I ever have thought his eyes were cold? She wondered dreamily as a heavily “punked-up” wizard announced that the next song was called “Elevation, by U2”.

And so they danced. They danced to every song, pausing only once to get a drink. She found he was a very good dancer; she only regretted that since the first song there had not yet been a slow one.

As if by her unspoken wish, the music turned into a slow beat. Her arms went up and around his neck and he gently pulled her in, hands on her hips. She glanced over his shoulder for a moment, and saw that most people had paired up, save a few. Neville Longbottom for instance, stood with a half smile on his pale face at the outskirts of the room. Then his eyes locked onto hers, and she forgot all but him.

And love
Is not the easy thing
The only baggage
That you can bring

Love
Is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind


Her soul seemed to drown in the gray smoky eyes that forever captivated her. She held his gaze steadily and wondered if ever she had been in a happier moment.

And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you’ve got they can’t steal it
No, they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on…
Stay safe tonight


Somehow she found that the top of his forehead was resting on hers. They were in a tiny, private place of their own where none could reside save them… and yet even they could not stay there forever.

You’re pacing a suitcase for a place that none of us have been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom


Her tongue flickered across her dry lips and he smiled at her. Gently, he bent and kissed her and so, lips tangled, they moved slowly to the music.

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on…


She smiled slightly under his lips. Was this song written for us? she asked him, slipping easily into his mind. All that stuff about love not being the easy thing? He did not reply, but he pulled his mouth away and watched her with terrible sad eyes. She caught his thought as the barest whisper in her mind.

I hope not.

***

At dinner for the first time they sat next to each other while eating. It was the strangest table arrangement Hogwarts had ever seen- there were three long tables, one for the staff and two for the students; but this was not unusual. Because Ginny had opted to sit with Draco, half of Gryffindor house decided to ‘support’ her and sat clustered around her. Closest to her were Hermione, Ron and Harry.

However, there was no way that the Slytherins were going to allow Draco to be surrounded by Gryffindors- so they filled the opposite half of the table! There was many a glaring match and rude hissed remark over dinner that night.

***

Draco and Ginny ate dinner leisurely, seeming to be unaware of the chaos that surrounded them. They spoke with members of their own house (each refusing to speak to the others house unless by necessity) and each other, and laughed and joked (at least Ginny did anyway- Draco smiled slightly and made wry remarks) as if it were a normal dinner. Albus Dumbledore watched the whole proceedings with great amusement, flanked by a sour looking McGonagall and a disgusted Snape.

The couple did not kiss at all, or stare too much at each other and if it were not for the fact that their legs were entwined in the others or the face that Draco kept absentmindedly playing with the curl that fell across Ginny’s cheek one would not have known they were a couple at all. As it was, Ron was a little disgruntled at the way his nemesis looked at Ginny or touched her face but he was begrudgingly okay with the situation- of course if he had happened to look under the table it might have been a different story!

A little after they had finished their dinner and everyone was preparing to sit around for a chat, Draco leaned forward and whispered something in Ginny’s ear. She nodded and to the trio’s (well, really the pair’s- Hermione didn’t care much, she was too busy avoiding the incredulous looks she had been receiving ever since she danced once with Ron) dismay, Draco and Ginny slipped out of the room.

Wandering dreamily in the garden, she slipped her hand into his and in a rare gesture of affection, he squeezed her hand gently. She smiled up at him and with his free hand he stroked the top of his head. The garden was exquisitely lit with fairies, some who sang and many who pounded the jars that they were imprisoned in for the one night in fury, resulting only in a tinkling sound like bells.

Ginny breathed in deeply, taking in the beautiful scent of the roses. Draco smiled down at her, and led her onwards. She shivered slightly as a cold night wind whipped through her dress.

“Are you cold?” he asked.

“A little.”

A slightly mischievous glint was in his eyes as he pointed to a large thick bush with some sort of beautifully scented flowers growing off it. “In there,” he murmured.

“Are you kidding me?” she laughed.

He shook his head, and quickly crawled under. Ginny, with a slight hesitation followed him and found to her delight that it was like a hollow cave under the shrubs.

“How’d you find this?”

“I guessed.” That was all the answer he would give, but Ginny suspected something more.

“I never thought Draco Malfoy would be one to play cubbies.” she teased.

“I don’t,” he snapped. “I- look for refuges, that’s all.”

Refuges from what? She wanted to ask, but she didn’t for fear of the answer he might give.

She crawled to him, ignoring the dirt that was accumulating on her dress- after all, a simple cleaning spell would get rid of it- and snuggled into his arms, feeling them tight around her. They sat like that for a while, listening to the others heartbeat, until Ginny finally spoke a question that had been brooding on her mind for a while.

“When did you stop hating me?”

He did not reply, for a long while and when he did speak it was very quiet. “I never really hated you- not for a long while at any rate. You were just the little sister of one of my enemy’s- I had to be rude to you. Besides, you were so easy to pick on- for so many years you just sat there and took it. But then, in Umbridge’s office when you cursed me with that Bat Bogey Hex-” he chuckled lightly. “Then I hated you. Because you had damaged my pride in front of other Slytherins.

“When did I stop?” he mused, half to himself. “I think it was when Goyle kissed you. You were caught so unawares that I saw a side of you I hadn’t seen for so many years- the vulnerable side. You looked so weak and afraid, and I felt this- this rage well up inside me that Goyle would do such a thing. I may be a Malfoy, but I have got morals. I would never take any girl like that.”

Ginny shivered slightly, remembering the incident. Then, taking advantage of the fact that he was in a slightly more open mood, she asked another question.

“And when… when did you start liking me?” she paused slightly. “Loving me, even?”

“I got my first ‘crush’ on you,” he admitted freely. “That day you yelled at me in the Hospital Wing. God I loved Madame Pomfrey that day- your dress was so tight.” He seemed dreamy, and Ginny laughed quietly.

“You weren’t wearing a top,” she added.

“Yes, you’re right,” he said in surprise. “I’d forgotten that. Anyway, that’s when I realized that there may be more to my feelings for you then respect. But the day I started… loving you. It was the day we found out about the prophecy. You ran away, and sat on the window sill. I found you-” he smiled slightly into her hair. “Hours before you woke. I just sat and watched you.”

With a rush of memory, Ginny remembered the dream she had had that day.

Harry was close to her, caressing her, loving her. She leant in to him, blending into him as much as she could. His aftershave smelt slightly different from usual… Sharper, spicier… she liked it a lot better than the one he usually wore.

“It was you!” she exclaimed.

“Excuse me?” Draco asked, confused.

“I dreamt of Harry- dreamt he was holding me- but he had a new smell.”

Draco stiffened. “Do I really need to know this, Weaslette?”

“Yes!” she laughed. “You do, because it wasn’t him. It was you. Your smell. Just how close to me were you Malfoy?” she added suspiciously as an afterthought.

“I never moved from where you found me when you woke up,” he said calmly. She nodded slightly.

Reaching her hands up, she took hold of his face and tilting her head back she brought it down until their lips were touching. It was not a real kiss. Their lips brushed, nuzzled each other and Ginny lay back on him. She opened her eyes, and her eyelashes fluttered slightly on his face. He shivered slightly.

“Ginny,” he murmured hoarsely. A thrill went over her as she heard him say her name. He took her face in his hands and kissed her sweetly.

They spent the next hours curled up together in that little hollow in the shrub, kissing and talking of the war that was inevitably going to come. Ginny was glad she could finally talk to someone- Harry, Hermione and Ron always closed up and became sullen when the war was mentioned.

When the clock finally struck half past two, Ginny reluctantly pulled away from him.

“I better go.”

“If you have to,” he replied.

“I have to,” she smiled. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“You will,” he agreed.

Crawling their way out of the little haven, they walked across the deserted grounds and into the castle, where they split up and went their different ways, with many kisses and whispered goodnights.

Ginny entered the Common Room in a dream, not noticing the huddle in a corner. Walking upstairs, she changed out of the beautiful gown and into a pair of pajama bottoms and a soft cotton top. Deciding to go downstairs and meditate for a while on the night’s events, she finally recognized the group- Harry, Ron and Hermione. Their shoulders were shaking, as though they were trying to keep back tears. Hermione was failing, as Ginny saw when she raised her head.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, a sliver of dread creeping over her.

“Oh God Ginny,” Hermione cried. “What are we going to do?”

Ginny stared at her, uncomprehending. “About what?” she inquired uncertainly.

Harry finally raised his face and Ginny saw that the usual brave expression had completely gone- tear streaks were on his cheeks. “Oh Ginny,” he whispered. “Neville Longbottom committed suicide.”

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