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Hey guys! This is the 17th chapter- some romance, more Snape and Gabey too! It's basically just a follow on from ch16, but everything in this chapter is important to the plot, no matter how small it may seem! :D Enjoy! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ‘You should probably head over to dinner, Harry. While there’s still some left,’ Remus muttered to Harry as they were leaving the infirmary. Madam Pomfrey had easily healed the slash mark across Harry’s stomach from where Malfoy had used the diffindo spell on him, and Harry was still mad at Malfoy for doing it, he wondered if he’d been released from the body-bind he’d placed on him earlier? The thought of Malfoy’s pointed face scrunched up in agony from the tickling charm, when he couldn’t move, brought a smile to Harry’s face before he decided to answer Remus. ‘Yeah, I suppose. See you later, Remus,’ Harry answered as he turned on his heel. ‘Harry?’ Harry stopped and looked over his shoulder at Remus. ‘Yeah?’ ‘Don’t worry about Malfoy, he’ll get what’s coming to him… soon,’ Remus replied with a smirk. Harry nodded before heading back to the Great Hall for dinner, he hoped Ron and Hermione hadn’t already finished, it was getting on for 7:30pm and he had detention at eight with Snape ‘lovely’, he sighed. He made his way over to the Gryffindor table. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ginny sat in the library, occasionally sucking on the end of her feathered quill. She had purposely sat in a quiet corner of the room, somewhere where Madame Pince and anybody else who decided to enter the library couldn’t see her easily. Apparently, she wasn’t hidden well enough. ‘Excuse me! Hello? Excuse me!!’ came the high pitch shrill of the librarian, Madame Pince. Ginny shook her head, instantly breaking free from her daydream. ‘Yes?’ she asked shortly. The librarian frowned at her before answering snappily, ‘It’s time for dinner you know! You may not want to eat, but some of us do, and I don’t like to leave students alone with the books.’ Ginny tried to refrain from rolling her eyes as she watched Madame Pince walk over to a book that had been left out, and place it on the shelf so carefully, one would think it were made of glass! ‘Okay, but can I come back after dinner?’ Ginny asked as she began to pack up some of her books. Madame Pince looked sternly at Ginny before answering, ‘If you must!’ and with that walked over to the double doors, where she began to tap her foot impatiently, shooting glances between Ginny and a large wizarding clock on the wall. Ginny hastily grabbed her things, not bothering to put everything in her bag, and walked out the door. Once outside, she placed the rest of her things on the floor, and knelt down to put them into her bag. ‘Well, well, well. And what do we have here?’ Malfoy’s cold voice asked, making Ginny drop the last of the books. She turned as red as her hair when she realised that it was in-fact her diary. Malfoy was too quick and snatched the scarlet covered book before Ginny could even move. ‘Hey look, it looks like Weasley’s in love with Potty!’ Draco announced to the two goons that flanked him; Crabbe and Goyle, as they laughed next to him. ‘Dear diary, We visited Fred and George’s joke shop today, and Harry and Hermione came with us…’, Draco began, he skipped a few paragraphs before he found something that he obviously thought was more interesting. ‘…he looked so handsome! I kept on telling myself, that Harry would never want to go out with a girl like me, that I shouldn’t let myself fall for him again! But I couldn’t help myself. I could smell his Muggle deodorant, the chocolate on his breath from a chocolate frog he’d eaten… Oh Merlin, you’re sick Weasley!’ Draco commented, as angry tears began to spill down Ginny’s cheeks. ‘Give it back! Malfoy!’ Ginny yelled angrily. Draco laughed, amused at the girls reaction to his taunting. ‘No, let’s see what else is in here shall we?’ he asked with a sneer. ‘No, don’t!’ Ginny yelled again, this time lunging forward to grab the diary. However, Draco simply sidestepped her, and laughed even louder as Ginny fell to the floor. ‘Merlin, you’re pathetic!’ Draco spat, throwing the diary down next to her on the ground. ‘You’re right Weasley,’ Ginny looked up into those cold silver eyes, and saw only pure hatred inside them. ‘Potty would never go out with a girl like you, I mean, look at you! A pathetic little cry-baby! Not that Potter will have a chance to have a girlfriend, the Dark Lord will kill him soon, make no mistake about that!’ Draco finished, before turning to leave. Crabbe and Goyle still guffawing after him. Ginny pulled herself up into a sitting position, as she cradled her left arm that had taken the brunt of her fall, tears still spilling down her face. Soon, footsteps could be heard, and a female voice called out, ‘Ginny? It is Ginny isn’t it? Ron’s sister?’ Ginny looked up into brown eyes with flecks of green; it was Gabey. She nodded in reply, whilst quickly wiping her eyes with her hand. ‘Here,’ Gabey spoke softly, kneeling down next to her to hand her a handkerchief. ‘Thanks,’ Ginny whispered, before slowly getting up from the ground, grabbing the diary as she did so. Gabey studied Ginny’s face, now that she looked at her closely, she could tell that she was Ron’s younger sister, red hair or not, the freckles were a dead give away. ‘Do you want to talk about it?’ Gabey asked cautiously, not knowing how Ginny would react, she was practically a stranger to her. Ginny looked up to Gabey’s face, she was looking at her with an unreadable expression, at least it wasn’t sympathy, she couldn’t stand that look. ‘Yeah, okay. But not here, in the common room?’ Ginny asked the older girl. Gabey smiled, ‘Sure.’ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harry glared at Snape. He had arrived at the classroom at 8pm as agreed and Snape had told him to scrub all of the cauldrons in the room by hand, and without magic. It was going to take all night! ‘Potter, unless you want another detention for tomorrow night, I suggest you continue scrubbing,’ Snape snarled from his desk. He had been watching Harry like a hawk the entire time, seemingly having nothing better to do, than to watch him slave away; how he hated that man! Harry continued scrubbing all of the cauldrons until his hands were red raw and he could feel blisters appearing on his hands. ‘I’ve finished, Sir’ Harry announced tiredly, he was sure it was gone midnight. Snape looked up from a piece of parchment on his desk that he had taken to pouring over after apparently getting bored of watching Harry scrub. ‘Very well, you may leave,’ Snape replied, turning his attention back to the parchment. Harry quickly headed toward the door, but stopped with his hand on the handle. ‘What is it Potter?’ Snape asked without looking up from the parchment. Harry hesitated before approaching the potion’s master’s desk. ‘I er, well…’ ‘Spit it out Potter!’ Snape interrupted, now looking intently into Harry’s face, searching his eyes for some sign of what he was about to ask. ‘Well, you said that I could have my invisibility cloak back at the start of term, when you took it from me…’ Harry began, growing more and more nervous as Snape’s penetrating gaze cut through him like a knife. Finally Snape answered. ‘Fine, wait here. Do not touch anything, Potter. I will know if you do!’ Snape reprimanded before sweeping out of the classroom door, his robes billowing behind him. Harry looked around him. The back of the classroom held the newly scrubbed cauldrons, a reminder of just how many he had cleaned. On the right hand side of the room was the door, and then numerous shelves stacked with books that didn’t look as though they had been touched at all within the past century. And then there was Snape’s desk. Harry stepped a bit closer, giving himself a better view of the parchment that lay on top of it. He looked around the room, making sure that he couldn’t hear Snape’s footsteps nearby, he lent over the desk and read what was on the parchment: Two Unicorn hairs Phoenix tears Two Werewolf hairs - plucked on night of transformation Blood - taken during full moon To be administered exactly one hour before next full moon Number of tears? Quantity of blood? From both? Side affects? How long will it last? Harry frowned. It didn’t make any sense to him, he supposed it was ingredients for a potion that Snape was still working o, seeing as he had left unanswered questions at the bottom of the page. He thought perhaps Hermione might have some ideas though and tried to memorise the ingredients for later. Footsteps could be heard coming up the corridor and Harry quickly straightened up and took a few steps away from the desk, so that it didn’t look as though he had been reading the parchment. He turned toward the door as Snape swiftly walked in, his eyes narrowing as he tossed Harry the invisibility cloak. ‘You’ve got your cloak now, so go,’ Snape said. Harry didn’t argue and left as quickly as he could. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harry entered the Gryffindor common room, and was surprised to find Ginny and Gabey sat in front of the fire talking. ‘Er, hi,’ Harry said, unsure if he should interrupt or not. Ginny immediately blushed when she noticed Harry stood behind them, and Harry watched as Gabey looked between the two of them and smiled. ‘I’ll leave you guys to talk, see you later,’ Gabey began, as she headed toward the portrait hole. ‘Er, Gabey? Where are you going? It’s gone midnight. If you get caught by Filch…’ Harry began. ‘Filch?!’ Gabey laughed, startling both Harry and Ginny. Gabey raised an eyebrow at their surprised expressions. ‘Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.’ ‘Hang on. Here, take the invisibility cloak, I don’t know where you’re going, but just in case,’ Harry indicated the cloak, before handing it over to her. ‘Okay, but don’t wait up for me, I might be a while,’ Gabey called, finally walking through the portrait hole. Harry continued to look at the hole, still wondering where it was that Gabey could be heading. ‘Harry?’ Harry turned to look at Ginny. The fire light was reflecting on her red hair, lighting up her soft features and highlighting her sparkling blue eyes. Harry moved closer to the sofa, making his way around the side, never letting his eyes fall from her gentle face, finally he found himself sat beside her, still mesmerised by those eyes. Ginny blushed and let out a nervous giggle as she realised Harry was staring at her. Then her face turned serious as she remembered what happened earlier that night, and she fond herself not wanting to remain there alone with Harry; she had to escape those emerald green eyes. ‘Ginny? Something wrong?’ Harry asked concernedly when he noticed the apprehension in her face. Ginny sighed before turning back to look at Harry. ‘Harry, we need to talk.’ Harry gulped, that didn’t sound good. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gabey stealthily walked along the seventh floor corridor, she found a statue and stuffed the invisibility cloak behind it, hiding it from view. It would only get in the way anyway. Taking a look around her, she thought about what she wanted to do, and in a blink of an eye, she morphed into her Animagus form, a sleek, black cat with her ‘normal’ brown with green fleck, eyes. She quickly bounded down the steps, carefully watching the staircases, so that they didn’t change on her unexpectedly. Soon, she found herself in the dungeons, more precisely, Slytherin domain. She morphed back into her human form, and smiled as she approached the tapestry that hid the Slytherin common room entrance from view. She watched amusedly as a snake slithered to the centre of the tapestry and asked in a hiss, ‘Password?’ Smiling she answered, ‘Devil’s snare’ The tapestry pulled itself back revealing a door. She pushed it open and walked inside. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Harry stared at Ginny in disbelief. She had just told him everything that had happened earlier that night with Malfoy, and by so doing, told him her feelings toward him as well. To say that he was surprised at her openness, was to say the least. ‘D-do you really feel a-all t-that, about m-me?’ Harry stuttered. Ginny nodded and smiled. ‘I’ve always held a certain fondness for you Harry, ever since you rescued me from the chamber. But I thought you didn’t feel the same way about me, that’s why I started dating other guys. I-I wanted to make you jealous I guess,’ Ginny answered truthfully, blushing as she finished. Harry smiled. ‘I am an idiot. I never realised! Merlin, and there I was wasting my time with Cho!’ Harry laughed, causing Ginny to laugh too, as she remembered Harry telling her about the date that they had, had in the tea shop in Hogsmeade village. ‘I guess, what I mean to say is that, I feel the same way too, Ginny,’ Harry admitted, blushing crimson. Ginny smiled, surprised at his response, and leant over to kiss him. Harry lent forward to, about to reciprocate when the portrait hole opened and Gabey walked in, a large grin plastered on her face. Harry and Ginny quickly pulled apart. ‘Oh, um… sorry, don’t mind me!’ Gabey apologised whilst winking at Ginny as she passed her to head on up to bed, placing the cloak on the sofa as she passed. Ginny turned back to Harry. ‘We should probably be getting to bed too, it’s late,’ Ginny said quietly, reluctance evident in her voice. Harry smiled. ‘I’ll see you in the morning, Ginny. Goodnight,’ Harry replied as Ginny got up from the sofa. ‘Goodnight, Harry,’ Ginny whispered as she placed a chaste kiss on his lips. ‘Night,’ Harry repeated as he placed a finger to his lips, where Ginny had kissed him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hey guys! Sorry it took so long to get this chapter up, but I have been really, really busy with coursework, I’ve still got loads to do now in fact, so I’m not certain when the next chapter will be up yet? Anyway, Don’t forget to review!!:) Hope you all liked this chapter!? I wanted to show some more of Gabey’s character, seeing as a lot of people have said that they are not warming up to her as of yet. I also had some romance in this chapter, seeing as people seem to be 50/50 over whether they want romance more in this story or not, and since the last chapter focused in on duelling, I thought it was only fair to have romance in the next- so sorry to those who don’t like romance, and probably felt queasy half way through the chapter, lol :D Anyway, tell me what you think, and I’ll try to make the next chapter longer, as I am well aware that this chapter isn’t that long. Also, what do you think of the new banner? I love it, personally- it was made by Iced_Cherriez, (Thanks again!)~Sam.

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