The great hall was decorated for the occasion. It promised to be a ball like no other that Hogwarts had seen. Everyone was instructed to wear masks and conceal their identity; Dumbledore’s way of promoting house unity. It wasn’t just masks either, hair color, eye color, all changed.

“Perhaps hiding behind a mask, is the best way for our students to learn they aren’t so different after all”, Dumbledore mused to himself. He was easily recognized, only small spectacles on his face. McGonagall smiled next to him.

“You know something that we don’t, once again” she said her voice lacked curiosity she was simply stating a fact. All would be revealed in time. It always was.

Dumbledore only smiled, “My dear would you like to dance?”  McGonagall smiled and nodded.

The Great Hall was decorated far beyond anyone had ever seen before, and witches and wizards were flooding in wearing dress robes and ball gowns, some grander than others. The youngest Weasley sat bored, and more importantly alone, scanning the crowd for what may have been her friends, but honestly, she couldn’t be sure. Her hair had been changed to a raven and the dress she wore, that she borrowed from Hermione was green silk and flowed down, while hugging her body, hugged a bit too much in her brother’s opinion. She blew a stray feather that was tickling her nose from the green mask she wore, to match the dress of course. It might have been nice to see someone she knew. She’d settle for the company of her brother right now if she could only find them. She saw the red dress Hermione had chosen twirled around the floor a few times, but she didn’t want to bother her friend, she seemed well enough dancing with some mysterious man. This was a disaster as far as she could tell. The music was perfect, the great hall looked like nothing she had seen, the stars in the bright sky twinkling and raining down sparks on top of the dancers. She just wished she could be a part of it, but alas, Ginny Weasley was alone and forgotten by her friends. This entire ball was about meeting new people, forging new friendships, and realizing that the houses may not be so different after all, but as far as Ginny was concerned it was just another ball and she was simply bored.  Right up until she heard someone clear their throat behind her. She turned towards the sound.

 Even under the black mask he wore, she could tell he was gorgeous; his hair was the same color hers was at the moment. She looked up at him from her chair. “Excuse me, Miss”, he said formally, she liked the way his voice sounded, she smiled lightly at him, before he continued, “May I have this dance”, he offered his hand out to her, brave this one was, if she said no, he’d be standing there looking like a fool with his hand out to her. Then again, she doubted he was the type who was said no to often.

“Umm”, it took Ginny a moment to find her voice, “Yea ok”, she said lamely, after he had just made such an eloquent speech. She took his hand and allowed him to pull her to her feet. “Well, as long as you’re not a Weasley”, she wrinkled her nose at the thought of dancing with her brother accidently.

The boy seemed to find this prospect amusing, “I assure you I am not”, he threw back at her as he led her by hand to the dance floor. She followed him and wasn’t completely prepared when he spun her around into his arms. She moved into him a little too hard to be graceful, but recovered quickly, remembering her form and following his lead, she let him lead her off into the crowd of people.

She continued to dance as the music changed to something more modern, and then to something slower, more romantic. He stole a kiss and pulled her close for a moment. Ginny closed her eyes, they had barely spoken to each other, but all night neither one had left the floor barely long enough to get a drink, and he always went and got it for her, a true gentleman. That was something she definitely was not used to. It seemed like no time at all before the music stopped and the announcement was made that the ball was over, students started filing back to their common rooms. Ginny’s mystery boy held tightly to her hand, kissing the top of her head before whispering in her ear. “Meet me somewhere”, Ginny’s heart did some sort of flip flop, she doubt he wanted to meet just to talk, but then again, Ginny could say no at any time. On the other side she didn’t know anything about him. Her mind was made up for her when the crowd started pushing its way up the stairs and she felt his hand slipping from her grasp.

She was being tugged in one direction with the surge of the crowd and her hold on his hand was breaking. “I…” she began, but he too was being dragged in an opposite direction. “Where?” she asked quickly over the heads that were now pushing their way in between the two.

 “Room of Requirement” she barely heard over the noise and then allowed herself to be pushed with the rest of the crowd up the main stairs as she felt his fingers fall from hers. This was a bad idea.

She looked back but couldn’t make out her mystery man from the rest of the crowd. All the way up to the third floor she fought a mental battle with herself. Go, or not go. It could be someone completely horrid. Then again it could be someone completely amazing. Her curiosity won out and she made sure her mask was firmly in place before heading towards the room of requirement. She wondered if it was someone from Dumbledore’s army. Who else knew about the room?

The door was there. Like it always was. She guessed he had gotten there first. With a deep breath she reached for the handle and let herself in.

The room simply looked like a normal classroom. Odd she thought he could have made it a little more cozy. Maybe it was a Ravenclaw and this was cozy for him. Her eyes met the mystery man standing against a desk arms folded over his chest. His mask was still in place. Although his dress robes were sitting over a chair, he simply had on a pair of black trousers and white button down shirt. Ginny didn’t mind the change of outfit he looked more relaxed. She closed the door behind her. “I had to see you again”. He said suddenly in explanation.

Ginny held back near the door “Alright” she muttered her attention focused on him.

“I have to know who you are”, he moved towards her with purpose. He moved for her mask but she turned her face away.

“No”, she started clearly. A frustrated look passed his face. Like a child who wasn’t getting what he wanted. He was definitely not used to being told no. Before he could protest, Ginny stood on her tiptoes and pressed her lips to his. His eyes opened in slight surprise, but he reacted rather quickly. Actually too quickly. It was his turn to take Ginny of guard as he pressed her body against the door and deepened the kiss.  A shiver went up and down her spine as his hands traveled over of the silk fabric of her back, bunching it slightly, and moving to her hips, pulling her as close to him possible. She entwined her fingers in his hair. She broke from him when she realized it wasn’t black hair she was running her fingers through, but blonde.  She gasped suddenly; her own hair has turned red again.

He backed up from her studying her hair, he twirled a strand around his finger. Apparently he liked red heads. Well that was a relief. He smirked as he removed his mask.

“Malfoy”, Ginny gasped.

He looked at her for a moment confused. “Now you know who I am”, he said trying to ignore that slightly disgusted tone in her voice. Dear god, she was probably one of those poor Hufflepuff girls he had terrified one day. He’d remember hair like that, and definitely a body like that though, so he put it out of his head. “Your turn”.

“No”, Ginny practically yelled, but before she could stop him his wand was out and her mask was gone.

“Weasley”, Draco scoffed. “Should have known”, he glared.

The disgusted look he gave her, hurt. She swallowed once to regain control of herself. “You disgust me”, she shot back, mustering all the malice she could.

“Was that before or after you stuck your tongue down my throat and tried to snog me to death”, he mused. She was stunned. He was right. She liked it. No she loved it. He smirked.

“Bugger it”, she grabbed his neck and brought his lips crashing down to hers again. He could have done a number of things, called her a blood traitor and threw her off him.  Instead Draco Malfoy kept on kissing the most perfect lips he had ever felt.

“You’re bloody mad”, he said in between kisses.

“Complaining? “ Ginny broke and arched her brow. Draco cringed he now knew what the Weasley look was all about.

“No”, he held up his hands in defeat. He brought her back to him he wasn’t sure was more soft her skin of the satin that draped over it. He looked down at her, amazed, she was beautiful. Ginny watched the hungry look pass his face. She should have felt violated, and all sorts of wrong, but it only excited her more. She liked that look, especially that look when he was looking at her. She wasn’t sure if that’s what inspired it or just the all over situation, but she started undoing the buttons of his white shirt and traced kisses down his collarbone. She heard his sharp intake of breath when she moved lower, by the button.  She moved back to his lips and it took all the restraint Draco had not to rip off her flimsy dress right then and there. He shrugged his shirt completely off and pinned Ginny’s arms over her head with his. Stopping those maddening hands before he did something that would hurt her… too late. He saw a look of pain cross her face followed by an “ouch”.

He moved backwards quickly.  “What was…?” she stopped Draco started swearing holding his arm. Ginny was holding hers as well, and right there was a nasty burn mark. She looked to Draco as his hand moved. There it was, the ugly black skull; he was marked.

“Draco I”, she cut off again, but this time by Draco’s lips crashing into hers. It was different than before. It was needy, desperate. It scared her. She pushed him back. Her eyes wide with fear.

Draco swore he could hear his heart break just then. He definitely felt it. “Ginny… please...” he called as she was about to leave. She stopped as she heard her first name. It sounded so sweet when he said it. So perfect. “I... you don’t understand”, he ranted, “You don’t know my father… expectations”, he was stumbling for words. He looked beaten. She wanted to run to him, but her brain kept her firmly in place. Right and wrong was clear in her head and that was definitely wrong.

“I do know your father”, Ginny replied quietly. She had her fair share of “run-ins” with the man.

“Touché”, Draco sighed. Ginny looked at him once more and left the room.

Draco felt his heart beat quicken. Well at least it was still working and he did the only thing he knew how to do he picked up the nearest desk and threw it, along with another. His fist connected with the wall. He heard the crack as his bones caved against the stone. It should have hurt, he should have felt that. But he couldn’t get the feel of her skin off of him, or the way it burned him when his mark met it. He didn’t care it hurt. He’d take it over and over again, just to have that feeling of life inside him again. She made it bearable. He leaned his forehead against the cold wall as his rage subsided sobering him enough to feel the throbbing pain. He turned and sunk down it holding his hand.

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