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Ginny was beginning to think everyone in the castle was undergoing a hormonal surge. It seemed that every classroom or alcove they came to had a snogging couple in it. They had just kicked another couple out of a classroom when Draco stopped walking. Ginny looked to see what he was doing.

Draco waited until the muttering couple that they had just ousted turned the corner out of sight, and then he grabbed Ginny and pulled her into the vacant classroom. She smirked at him and asked, “Why are we in here? We have other rooms to patrol.”

Draco kept walking forward and Ginny kept backing up with a teasing smile on her face. “I mean it’s not like you’re covered in chocolate, or anything.”

Draco smirked at her and she laughed and kept walking backwards until she felt herself bump into a desk. At that point, Draco leaned down and kissed her, cutting off any further smart-arse remarks that she had been considering making. When he moved to her neck, he whispered, “You better hope that this is a very sturdy desk.”

Ginny’s entire body seemed to rejoice at those words as a tremor ran down her spine. The moment was ruined, however, when a couple threw the door open and walked in. “Sorry, hey wait a minute. You’re the Prefects who threw us out of that alcove about ten minutes ago.”

Draco glared at the younger boy and said, “Power has its privileges. Now, get out of here and try a room on the floor below. Everyone knows we start in the dungeon and work our way up.”

“Oh, thanks,” the boy said as he and his girlfriend took off to find a Prefect free zone.

Draco turned back to Ginny and asked, “Does it seem like the Powers That Be are trying to mess with us, or is it just me?”

Ginny laughed and was about to pull him in for a kiss when she heard her brother calling her name. “Ginny, are you around here?”

“Crap,” Ginny muttered as she straightened herself up and hopped off of the desk. She walked out into the hall and waved to Ron. “I’m over here.”

Ron walked up to her with a concerned expression. “Have you seen Crookshanks? I accidentally let him out, and I haven’t told Hermione yet.”

Ginny took pity on her brother because she knew he loved Hermione, and Hermione loved her cat. “I’ll help you look Ron. I bet he went down to the kitchens again.” She turned around and saw Draco leaning on the doorframe looking at her speculatively. “Sorry, Draco. I need to help Ron. Can you finish up Prefect duty by yourself?”

“Sure, that will be loads of fun.”

“Thanks, if you come across Crookshanks, would you bring him to the Gryffindor Common Room?”

Draco rolled his eyes. “This night just keeps getting better and better. Now I’m a cat nanny.”

Ginny winked at him and ran off to catch up with Ron who had already started down to the kitchen.

Draco was patrolling the last set of rooms, when he heard a sound. When he investigated, he found Crookshanks batting around a stuffed toy. “People are looking for you,” he told the cat. The cat gave him a look, which he translated as, “Up yours.”

Draco debated on leaving the cat to its play, but then he realized that he would get to see Ginny again if he took the cat to Gryffindor Tower. Using his wand to levitate the cat and the toy, he started towards the Portrait of the Fat Lady. When he reached his destination, the Fat Lady looked at Draco oddly, until he pointed at the cat. Then she smiled and said, “I’ll let Hermione know you are here.”

“Don’t tell Hermione. She doesn’t know the beast is missing. Why don’t you get Ginny Weasley for me instead? She’ll know what to do.”

The Fat Lady nodded in approval and disappeared for a moment. Ginny came to the Portrait Hole a few minutes later. She felt her heart skip a beat when she saw that Draco had actually found Crookshanks and that he had bothered to return him. “You found him. Thank goodness. Ron was just about to confess to Hermione.” Ginny grabbed the cat and said, “Wait here, I’ll be right back.”

Draco stood in the hallway, and Ginny reappeared shortly. Draco noticed that she was wearing an old flannel robe, and when she stepped out of the Portrait Hole, he could see that her legs were bare. “What are you wearing under that robe, Miss Weasley?”

“I am wearing a very fashionable Gryffindor t-shirt that used to belong to Charlie, or Bill. I don’t really remember anymore.”

Draco’s face went blank, and Ginny wondered what was wrong. When he said, “I guess after you shag enough boys, you forget small details like that.”

Ginny whacked Draco on the arm. “I was talking about one of my brothers, you idiot.”

Draco suddenly felt exactly like the idiot she claimed him to be. He had no idea where that jealous feeling had come from. “Oh, my mistake.”

“Yes, well while we are on this lovely topic. I might as well tell you that if you and I ever do end up together, then you would only be the fourth boy who has ever touched me, so I don’t want any more comments about my character. Do you understand?”

Draco smirked. “Let me guess, Thomas, Potter, and some bloke in Romania.”

Ginny gave Draco an incredulous look, and he chuckled. “It wasn’t that hard to figure out. You’ve had two serious boyfriends, and one extended leave of absence from the country.”

“I suppose you are right. Listen, I better get back inside. It’s late.”

Draco leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. “Good night, Ginny.”

Ginny smiled all the way back to her room as she realized that Draco had been jealous. This was definitely an interesting turn of events.

***

Draco walked back to his Common Room with a frown on his face. He had no idea why he had felt that irrational bit of jealousy over Ginny Weasley. She was cute and fun to be with, but it wasn’t like he cared about her. It was all just lust and hormones. He knew that, and he was pretty sure she knew that too, but maybe he would have to remind her.

***

At breakfast the next morning, Ginny received a letter from Sorin. As she read it, she laughed. Ron looked on in an overly concerned fashion, but he didn’t pry because she seemed happy. Lavender, however, had no such reservations.

“Is that from your tattoo artist in Romania?”

Ginny nodded. “Yes, he keeps sending me new designs for complimentary tattoos.”

“I can’t believe you got a tattoo.”

“Well there isn’t a lot to do in a Romanian Dragon outpost. After a while, getting a tattoo seemed like a good idea. Plus, Sorin was really hot.”

Lavender laughed and Ron spoke to the room in general. “I didn’t hear a thing.”

Ginny threw a piece of muffin at her brother. “Oh come on, you’re lucky that getting a tattoo is about the most rebellious thing I’ve ever done.”

Ron sighed. “I still can’t believe Charlie let you do that.”

Ginny chuckled. “He was occupied at the time, and he didn’t notice that I had left with Sorin. Besides, it’s not like he can complain. He has several tattoos himself.”

“Are you going to get another one?” Lavender asked.

“I wouldn’t have anyone else give me a tattoo, but if I go back to Romania and Sorin is still there, I’d probably let him give me another one. It would be sort of commemorative.”

***

Draco walked into the cooking lesson with a hopeful feeling. Luna and Blaise should be occupying themselves this evening, so they shouldn’t barge in to share dessert. Professor Snape was busy brewing up potions for the hospital wing, so that only left McGonagall to interrupt them.

Ginny walked into the cooking classroom, and was surprised to find Draco already at work. “Look at you, Mr. I Have a House Elf so Why Should I Learn How to Cook?”

Draco looked up and smiled. “I figured if I got started, then we might actually have some time alone.”

Ginny felt oddly touched that he was putting some effort into being able to spend time with her. “What are you making?”

Draco held out a kitchen knife to her. “We are chopping up ingredients for a salad. I put a steak under the broiler, and it will be done in about seven more minutes, so chop fast.”

Ginny took the knife and chopped up the pile of vegetables he had assigned to her. When they were done, the kitchen timer went off, and Draco retrieved the steak. They sat down to eat, and Ginny suddenly felt the need to talk. “Did anything interesting happen in your classes today?”

Draco smiled. “I scored higher marks on an essay than Granger did.”

“I am impressed. Hermione normally scores the best in everything.”

Draco took a drink before he replied, “I am aware of that, and it annoys the hell out of me.”

“She is really smart. Fred and George call her scary-smart.

Draco rolled his eyes. “Maybe your brothers find her scary-smart because they spend their days trying to formulate better Exploding Dung Bombs.”

Ginny laughed. “I think you are jealous.”

“Why, because I don’t spend my day with Dung Bombs?”

“No, because you are really smart, and Hermione seems to edge you out all of the time.”

Draco smirked. “We need a new topic if this is going to remain a civil conversation. Did anything exciting happen in your classes today?”

Ginny shrugged. “In transfiguration, someone said their spell wrong, and they turned themselves into a frog.”

“Yeah, that happens.”

“Has Blaise talked to you about Luna?” Ginny asked, hoping to wheedle some information for her friend.

“Boys don’t talk about that kind of stuff. When he shags her, I’ll probably hear about that, but besides that there isn’t much to say.”
Ginny glared at Draco and he laughed. “What? Did you think he was composing sonnets to her or something like that?”

“No, I just thought maybe he said something nice about her. Do boys really only talk about sex?”

“Nothing else seems that important.”

Ginny rolled her eyes and stalked over to the magical cabinet. She stared at it for a moment, and then she pulled out a container of chocolate ice cream. She carried it back to the table along with a set of bowls and spoons. She set the bowls down with excess force.

Draco looked up at her and she said, “The next time I ask a question like that, the proper response is that he likes her, or he enjoys spending time with her. A girl likes to think that her friend means more to some guy than just an outlet for sex.”

Draco studied Ginny for a moment. “All right. I can see your point. I’m not used to having conversations like this. Next time, I’ll try to be more civil.”

Ginny scooped out a bowl of ice cream and passed it to him. “Thank you.”

Draco ate his ice cream while he tried to figure out how this revelation effected what was going on between himself and Ginny. He hadn’t really come to any conclusions, when he stood up and helped Ginny clear the table.

Ginny was putting the ice cream back in the magical cupboard when Draco walked up behind her and kissed her on the neck. She fought an internal battle while she turned around to kiss him. In her heart, she knew that she had begun to look forward to the time she spent with Draco. If he just walked away after he touched her, she would be hurt.

Pulling back from him, she asked, “What happens afterwards?”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ve never just jumped into something like this. I want to know what to expect. After we do this, is it all over?”

Draco looked at the serious expression on Ginny’s face. “I don’t know. Normally I see a girl until one of us feels like moving on.”

“Are you the one who usually moves on?”

“Yes. Is that a problem?”

Ginny sighed. “After you move on, then how do you treat the girl you left? Do you tell everyone that you shagged her?”

“No, I tell Blaise, but that is about it. Normally the girl and I maintain a civil relationship, if that is what you are worried about.”

“So no cracks about my family, or my hair color after we do this?”

Draco smirked. “Whatever will I do to fill my time if I’m not allowed to torment you about your family?”

Ginny punched him on the arm. “I’m being serious. This is important. I’m going to be stuck with you in these cooking lessons for a while, and if you decide to move on I need to know that you will be civil. Otherwise, I will exact retribution with sharp kitchen utensils.”

Draco sighed. “I will treat you with respect, and I will not torment you. Can you please shut up now?”

“Maybe.” Ginny replied as she let Draco kiss her again. Her mind was whirring with possible scenarios about horrible things that could come from this, but she did her best to ignore them. Fate intervened in the form of Professor McGonagall.

“Ginny Weasley, what happened to maintaining proper decorum?” Professor McGonagall asked as she stood in the now open doorway.

Draco cussed under his breath and stepped back from Ginny. Ginny walked towards her teacher. “Can I talk to you, Professor?”

“Of course, Miss Weasley. Why don’t you come to my office right now? I’m sure Mr. Malfoy has some homework he needs to attend to.”

Ginny followed Professor McGonagall to her office. Once she was seated, she didn’t know what to say. “Professor, do you trust Professor Snape?”

Professor McGonagall looked at Ginny for a moment. “I have different levels of trust for him in different situations. Why do you ask?”

“Well, he is a Slytherin, and Draco is a Slytherin, and I don’t know if I should trust him.”

“Can I assume you are talking about matters of the heart?” Ginny nodded. “Well, it is hard to tell when to trust any man in these situations. Has Mr. Malfoy lied to you about anything?”

Ginny frowned as she thought of their last conversation. “No, he’s been painfully honest.”

Professor McGonagall sighed. “I think if you talked to your mother about this, she would tell you that eighteen year old boys are not looking to fall in love. They have a more limited range of emotions at this age, but they often unintentionally fall in love. I would say, if you are looking for a more emotionally available person, you should look for someone in another House.”

“Professor, I can’t help but notice that you paired the Slytherin boys with girls from other Houses. Is there a reason for that?”

“Well, we tried to pair people who would balance each other. You and Mr. Malfoy both have strong personalities. I knew he wouldn’t be able to push you around. I paired Miss Lovegood with Mr. Zabini because he is far too serious sometimes. I thought she would help him see the lighter side of things.”

Ginny sat back and thought a moment. “I noticed that you paired my brother and Hermione together.”

Professor McGonagall nodded. “We were pairing boys with girls, and it seemed best not to interfere in established relationships. Boys at this age can be very jealous, and I imagine if we had paired Hermione with someone else, then there could have been problems.”

Ginny nodded, but she wondered if something else was going on here, maybe she’d talk to Hermione about it.

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