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A Lesson in Sociology

Chapter 14: Draco’s Understanding

Draco reached forward, his fingertips were nearly touching the hypnotizing Golden Snitch. It was right there, just beyond his reach. He leaned forward on his broomstick, inching a little closer to the object dancing outside of his range of motion. Suddenly, a pulse ran through the stadium. It was a heartbeat sound, reverberating through everything and everyone. Draco felt as if it were his own heart about to burst out of his chest. He looked around and realized that everything had nearly frozen. The others on their brooms were moving in slow motion as if nothing were happening. Draco turned his eyes to the Golden Snitch and could see it’s wings flapping like a humming bird slowed down.

‘What is going on here?’ he thought, listening to the muted sounds around him. He heard something he couldn’t place at first, a noise like a whimper.

Whimper? Who was whimpering?

He looked down into the stands and saw a blur of faces. In the center of the blur he saw one face clearly.

Ginny Weasley.

Perhaps it was just her red hair making her more visible in the crowd, or the fact that she was seemingly the only one to be watching him. Draco looked at her carefully, trying to figure out what was making her different from the rest of the spectators. Then it dawned on him.

She was the only other one not moving in slow motion.

He flew down a little lower, the Quidditch match forgotten for the moment, and saw the trail of salty tears pouring down her cheeks. She was the one who was whimpering. She stared directly at him, making an eye contact that was impossible for him to break. She looked fierce despite the fact that the tears were still coming steadily, and Draco knew that somehow he was the cause of the look in her eyes.

She mouthed something, but Draco didn’t understand. In an instant, time whirled back to normal and he was hit by a bludger in the back of the head.


Draco jerked awake. He had been having one of the most disturbing dreams he could ever remember having. He was panting slightly, and felt most definitely like he had been hit with a bludger. He figured it was because the dream had felt so real, and he had actually tensed up hard when he thought he had been hit.

He silently cursed himself for letting something as silly as a dream get him so worked up. It was after this that he realized what it was that had woken him.

Ginny was in the next bed, whimpering in her sleep. She must have been having another nightmare because he could hear her shuffling in the blankets as she had done the night before.

‘Ah, so that’s what prompted my dream,’ Draco mused. He closed his eyes but knew that he wouldn’t fall back asleep until she either quit whimpering, or woke herself up. He was hoping she’d pick one or the other shortly because he was terribly cranky when he didn’t get much sleep, not that the average person would notice the difference.

He tucked his hands behind his head and sighed. He wished he could see her. If he could, he’d just go over there and shake her awake, maybe tell her to quit being so annoying and sleep quietly for once. Then maybe he’d be able to get a little sleep in this god-forsaken room.

It was only a few moments later when Ginny gasped and Draco realized she must be awake. The room was suddenly filled with the dim blue light again as Ginny had rubbed at her bracelet. He closed his eyes quickly, hoping that she wouldn’t see that he was awake. He didn’t really want to have a repeat of the previous night. He was still frustrated at her for not speaking to him since the chess match.

‘I don’t even know what I did this time,’ he thought angrily. She had just kicked the board into his lap and stalked off to the bathroom. By the time she came out, she was ignoring him, despite his attempt to draw her into conversation, or even to just catch her eye.

He inched one eye open just a tad to see what she was up to now. She had grabbed her pillow and was heading back to her place on the floor, at no surprise to Draco. He couldn’t figure out why she would want to do that though. Why did she seem to feel more safe sitting in the floor in the middle of the night than she did in her own bed?

‘Perhaps it’s because the nightmares haunt her in bed, but not when she’s sitting in the floor,’ Draco rationalized. He could almost identify with her about the nightmares, for he counted the dream he had just awoken from to be just that, a nightmare.

He watched as she dropped the pillow next to the wall and lowered herself down to it, pulling her nightshirt over her knees as she had the night before. She chanced a glance in his direction and he closed his eye as quickly as he could, still trying to pretend to be asleep. When he did, however, he missed the smirk that spread on her face.

“I know you’re awake, Draco,” she whispered in the quiet after a few moments.

Draco grimaced inwardly. He continued to feign sleep, not quite ready to face her after the dream he had endured. He knew, however, that she wouldn’t buy it and finally sighed.

He sat up in the bed and grabbed his pillow, moving to his place next to her, much in the same way he had the night before. “It’s your fault you know,” he said after he had gotten settled.

Ginny shot a curious glance at him. “What’s my fault?”

“That I’m awake. It’s your fault. You were having nightmares again, weren’t you?” Draco asked.

She paused and looked down at her fingers before answering. “Yes, I was.”

The room was quiet for a few moments. Draco distinctly heard Harry snort loudly in his sleep. He wanted nothing more to laugh out loud at that moment, but didn’t dare in fear of waking anyone else. Were he to be found sitting in the dark, in the floor, with Ginny, the consequences would certainly be dire. He saw Harry’s wrath at Ginny just sitting on his bed, in the middle of the evening, with everyone else awake and the lights on. He dreaded to think of what he would be like if he woke now.

“Are you ever going to tell me what they’re about?” he asked.

Ginny looked at him incredulously. “What, and have you use it against me for the rest of my life? I don’t think so.”

“What makes you think I’d do that?” Draco asked softly, more softly than he had meant to. He couldn’t understand why his feelings had just been hurt. She was right. Well, had it been anyone else, she would have been right. But right now, he had no desire to treat her like he did everyone else, and that thought disturbed him.

She placed a finger on her chin and looked up at the ceiling. Draco knew she was about to make a very sarcastic remark and she proved his thinking right. “Hmmm, let’s see here Draco. How about we go with past performance as an answer.”

Draco nodded. “Fair enough. Fair enough. You win this round.”

Ginny smirked. “I win every round, certainly you’ve realized that by now.”

“Answer something for me,” Draco said in a serious tone that grabbed Ginny’s attention.

“Hmmm?” Ginny responded.

“Why do you call me Draco at night, and Malfoy during the day?”

Draco watched as Ginny closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the wall. He was afraid, for a moment, that she wouldn’t answer.

“I’m not sure, really. You’re different when it’s just us. You’re ‘human’ I guess,” she said with a playful grin, but then she sighed. “And during the day, you say hurtful things and remind me that you’re still the same Malfoy that you’ve always been. I don’t even think you realize what you’re saying sometimes, because you’re so used to saying it.”

At this, Draco hung his head. So that’s why she had stopped talking to him today. He must have said something that offended her. That’s why he had the dream about her, he felt guilty.

Guilt was not something he was used to feeling. He had no idea how to cope with it. He was not in the habit of apologizing either, and didn’t think now was any time to start. So he decided to chance the subject.

“What was your dream about. I promise, you can trust me,” he said, turning his gaze on her.

Ginny laughed softly. He liked it when she laughed like that, though he shook the thought from his head because it confused him.

“Yeah, I trust you about as far as I can throw you, Draco.”

Draco’s mouth twisted up in a mischievous grin. “Throw me, huh?”

The smile melted slowly off of Ginny’s face as she saw the glint in Draco’s eyes. “Yes, throw you. Why are you looking at me like that?”

Draco suddenly jumped up and sat down on Ginny. This forced her knees to pop free from her nightshirt and lay flat as he made himself comfortable in her lap.

“Draco, what are you doing!?” Ginny hissed, trying desperately to push him off of her.

He crossed his arms and looked her in the eye, defiantly. “Throw me.”


“You heard me, I want you to throw me.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“I most certainly am. I want to see how far you can trust me.”

Ginny crossed her arms as well and matched his defiant look. They sat this way for a few moments, staring each other in the eye. It was a battle of wills. He knew that she couldn’t throw him, and that he was probably starting to make her feet go numb. But he wasn’t about to back down, and apparently, neither was she.

“I dream about Harry mostly, being killed my You-Know-Who. Other times it’s about Tom Riddle, in the Chamber of Secrets. They’re terrifying dreams and I can’t escape them,” Ginny turned her eyes away from his and looked down to the floor, her hands falling to her sides. “I’ve not told anyone about them. I didn’t want anyone to know.”

Draco slid off of Ginny’s lap and back to his pillow. He didn’t know what to say. He felt like he should say something friendly and comforting, but he didn’t know how to. He wasn’t used to being comforting, or even wanting to be comforting.

Ginny laughed at the silence, a laugh that had no joy or happiness to it. It was a dry laugh and one that Draco disliked immediately. “I’m sure that’ll bring a great laugh around the Slytherin common room. One of the brave Gryffindors, not only afraid of the dark but also having nightmares about You-Know-Who.”

Draco peered at her in the semi-light. She looked genuinely disappointed in herself. That bothered him in ways he didn’t want to admit.

“No one else will ever know about what you’ve told me here tonight.”

Ginny turned her eyes to his and for once, he could tell that she didn’t doubt him. There was trust there, something he was very unused to seeing. She chanced a smile and Draco’s heart flipped.

For some reason, he was instantly angry with himself. He was making himself vulnerable, he just knew it. Perhaps she had some sort of hidden agenda and was working for Harry’s purposes. She was smart enough to pull it off. He new that she was a habitué of the library and had a very mean bat-bogey hex. Surely she was capable, but was that what she was doing?

It was as if Ginny could read his thoughts, and for a moment Draco thought perhaps she was skilled in Legilimency.

“Harry didn’t put me up to this you know,” Ginny said. She maintained his eye contact ask she spoke. “I wouldn’t do that sort of thing. I don’t know what’s going on here. And I don’t know why I’m starting to trust you, or why I’m starting to see myself being friends with you,” she paused, brushing a stray hair from her eye. “But I do. And I won’t question your motives if you won’t question mine.”

At this, she stuck out her right hand to him. “Shake?”

He only hesitated for a second, and then took her hand in his. Her hands felt so little in his own, and they were callused from real work. He gripped it tightly and shook her hand, a light blush creeping into his cheeks.

“You have a deal, Ginny.”


A/N: So you love me and hate me right now, I know. I just hope you love me enough to keep reading…lol! I want to thank everyone who has reviewed and stuck with me, particularly my friend Jessamina, who reviews everything I write always! If there are any H/Hr shippers out there looking for a good story, hit her up and read “What the Heart Wants.” It’s a great story.

Anywho, please read some of my other new stories if you get a chance. We’re going to get a little more information from our Professor in the next chapter, and a little insight to how Luna’s feeling these days. Stay tuned!

Disclaimer: I don’t own anything. J.K. Rowling is the genius behind Harry Potter and those things related to Harry Potter. I just enjoy tormenting the wonderful characters she has created for us.

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