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Chapter Five: Growing Up Summary: In the darkness of a mind recovering from pain and emotional trauma, what will it prepare? Ginny dreamt. 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. He smiled down at her, and there was no need for words. Suddenly, Harry’s eyes saddened. He pushed her away… there was a flash of terrible green light… Harry was falling, falling… High pitched laughter resounded from somewhere. She woke up sweating, terrified for a moment that it hadn’t been a dream. Then she saw Draco… and screamed. It was only a short scream, because she quickly got control of herself but seeing Draco first thing upon waking up had been a bit of a fright. “Hey- shut up, Weaslette,” Draco said, amused and not making her name sound like an insult for once. “God you gave me a start,” she said, a smile curving her pretty lips. “Where am I…?” “Don’t you remember?” Draco asked surprised. “You came running to the room of requirement…” “Oh yes,” Ginny said, memories flooding back to her. “After Dumbledore said that… that I might have to kill someone.” Draco’s face darkened. “We have to talk about that,” he murmured. “What’s to talk about?” she snapped. “I’m not killing anyone. Ever.” “Weasley, you have to listen to me. If they get the chance, the Death Eaters will kill you. Voldemort, given the chance, would kill you. There is no way that we can win against the Dark Side if we do not kill some of their numbers. Death Eaters will not feel pity for you; neither should you for them…” He smiled the terrible smile that took all light out of the air and gave nothing back. “I should know; I was raised by one. Death Eaters are killing innocent people. You would not be doing that- if they are caught alive Ginny, they would probably be sentenced to death anyway or Azkaban, which is worse.” “I don’t want to kill anyone,” Ginny said, lip trembling. “I’m sixteen… I’m not meant to know how to kill someone.” Draco sighed. “You mightn’t even have to kill them,” he said as gently as he knew. “Just as long as you know, as long as you can- can be able to save yourself and others if need be, then you’d be safe.” “Malfoy,” she said quietly. “I think I’ve handled this rather well. I’ve just been told that I am expected to fight in a war and that pretty much the whole future of civilization rests upon me. I’ve agreed to take dueling lessons. I’ve agreed to spend more time with you, and that’s saying something. But I’m not going to learn how to ruthlessly murder someone.” Draco rested his head on his hands, some locks falling into his eyes and Ginny felt a sudden strange temptation to brush them away rise in her. She folded her hands in her lap. “Things are changing,” he said quietly. “I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be made to grow up a lot faster then we should be-” “I’m grown up,” Ginny interrupted indignantly. “You’re very mature,” Draco acknowledged. Did he just pay me a compliment? she wondered, before realizing he was still speaking. “But your reluctance to kill showed that you’re not grown up yet. Neither am I. Neither is Potter, neither is your brother, neither is the Mud- er, Granger.” he corrected himself at her glare. Ginny suddenly understood what he meant. She nodded slowly. “You don’t have to learn to kill. But you’re going to have to learn a few nasty curses.” “I know a few already,” Ginny grinned. “I know.” he smiled wryly, remembering an incident two years ago. “Actually Weasley, that reminds me of something. In Umbridge’s office, two years ago, remember? You were going to use that curse on me- the one I heard almost killed Granger in the department of mysteries. But you didn’t. Why not?” Ginny froze, remembering the event. *Flashback* . Time seemed to slow down. She was aware of Neville punching his fist in the air as he pulled off a curse and spells banged and cracked and (often) narrowly missed her. But it did not seem important to her. All she saw was him. His face was abnormally flushed in the excitement of the fight and his hair flicked in all directions as he swiveled, casting curse after curse in a desperate attempt to turn the odds. She almost felt sorry for him; except for maybe Pansy Parkinson he was the only good dueler on the Inquisitorial team. He had stopped wearing the gel, she noted. His hair seemed lighter without it. She almost giggled watching him. He was laughing, a smile setting light upon his face. She did not know that his smile was only like this because he hadn’t realised he was smiling; otherwise it would be dark and foreboding. Does he only ever laugh happily in a fight? she wondered. Then her fighting instincts kicked in. “Hey Malfoy,” she called. He turned and faced her and a strange look came over his face but before she could recognize it it was replaced with a cold, calculating glare. He raised his wand and called out an unknown curse but Ginny nimbly dodged it. Opening her mouth and beginning to utter the first syllable of the dreaded curse, she started to slash her wand down as required when she met his gaze. There was fear in his eyes; he knew what the curse was. She stopped and let her wand fall to her side; the spell fizzled to nothing. Knowing she still had to eliminate him from the battle, she cast a quick Bat Bogey Hex. That should keep him occupied, she thought grimly- but she was still grinning at the look that had passed between them. Even as she joined Harry in the Forbidden Forest, she still had a lovely feeling in her stomach. Like she had a bit of a crush. *End Flashback* “I don’t know… I guess you were losing so badly I wanted to give you a bit of a chance,” she said vaguely, knowing the lie sounded hollow. Draco nodded, but there was an amused look in his eyes. “Have… have you heard from Dumbledore?” Ginny asked. “He sent an owl while you were sleeping. Our first lesson is tonight, at seven. Here.” “Tonight?” Ginny gasped. “He seemed to think it was a good idea to get started ASAP,” Draco explained. “Oh. What time is it?” “The castle clock struck half six just before you woke, so I’d say we have about a quarter of an hour till he joins us.” “Is he- is he going to teach us The Unforgivable Curses?” “I… I think so. But you don’t have to learn the killing curse, Ginny, I won’t let him teach you that,” his voice was suddenly fierce… Ginny felt warm and protected. “Thanks… Draco.” His mouth didn’t twitch but his eyes seemed to light up at her calling him by his first name. They sat in comfortable silence. They seemed to follow a pattern; for two minutes Ginny would completely avoid Draco’s eyes, staring out the window while he took the chance to study her and then they would swap. Eventually, Dumbledore knocked and swept into the room. Ginny and Draco slid off the window sill and stood awkwardly in front of him, while Dumbledore observed them dryly. “Er, Professor?” Ginny finally murmured. “I- I’m sorry for my actions earlier. It was all…” she hesitated. “A bit much.” Dumbledore smiled sadly at her. “I completely understand, Ms Weasley. But have you had adequate time to think over my words?” Ginny nodded. “I have, Professor. But… but I still don’t want to learn how to kill someone. I’ll learn all you want, just not that. Please understand…” Unconsciously, Draco stepped up to stand by Ginny, subtly showing his support for her. “That will be fine Ms Weasley,” Dumbledore said smoothly. “And what are your thoughts on the matter, Mr Malfoy?” “Sir, I don’t want to kill anyone. But I think that I should learn the spell in case there is no other alternative in battle. You mentioned that Ginny and I would work together during fighting, so it makes sense if one of us is able to kill.” Dumbledore nodded gravely. “There is one other thing. I am sorry I have to bring this up, Draco, but I must ask where your loyalties lie.” Draco’s eyes flashed dangerously. “My loyalties remain the same as they have ever been. Pity nobody’s bothered to ask me what that was.” “I’m asking you now, Mr Malfoy.” Draco glared at the headmaster. He did not reply in words, instead rolling up a sleeve and showing a pale, unblemished arm. “Answer enough for you?” he said quietly. Dumbledore nodded, unwanted sympathy showing on his face. “We should begin,” he said. Dumbledore cleared his throat. “I want you to work as a team. Together, you must be able to bring down a great number of Death Eaters and be able to also distract Voldemort. I think that the way to make this war work is for you two to control his complete attention, giving Harry a chance at killing him. Only united can we win. That means, that one lesson a week Mr Potter, Ms Granger and Mr Weasley will be joining you so that you learn to work together.” Draco grimaced. Dumbledore ignored him. “On Thursday nights, such as tonight, you will learn to move as a quick, accomplished team. You will both be taught to Apparate, along with all other members of the DA.” Ginny’s eyes lit up. It seemed there would be good sides to this after all. “I am also going to give you unlimited passes to the restricted section. You will be expected to train an extra three nights a week when you’re not being taught. I know this might seem harsh, but it’s better than being killed.” “You will also attend lessons once a week with Professor Snape. These lessons will go for two hours and will be divided into two parts. In the first half, you will learn to brew a series of deadly poisons. These are in case you are taken alive-” Ginny interrupted. “You wish us to kill ourselves should we be taken captive?” Dumbledore’s eyes widened. “Good God no. I wish for you to be able to get out of there if your wands have been taken. As I was saying, in the second half you will be taught Occlumency.” Ginny and Draco exchanged a quick glance. “Do you understand?” They nodded. “Any questions?” There was a pause, and then Ginny spoke shyly. “Please sir, only it’s a dreadful amount of work and it’s Draco’s NEWT year…” “Of course. I will speak to your teachers about homework…” his eyes twinkled. “Sometimes I find teachers give homework more for quantity rather then quality. So I will speak to them about getting less work, although they will expect that your lesser amount of work be up to a higher standard. Also, I will speak to Professor Ellis about you two not attending Defense Against the Dark Arts as I think you will be doing more then enough, and perhaps to Severus about you missing one double potions lesson. Mr Malfoy, I will organize for you to undertake a different NEWTs exam, going more with the things you learn this year. Will that be sufficient?” Ginny smiled. “Yes Professor. Thank you.” “Well, we better get started then.” They began simply. Dumbledore taught them how to block and particularly with Ginny he went over again and again the shield charm. Although she was pretty good at it, she could only hold it for a few seconds before holes began appearing in it. Draco got it pretty much straight away, although he would often lose his concentration after a minute, causing it to evaporate. Dumbledore was insistent about them learning to hold it for five minutes- quite a feat! By the time Ginny had managed it she was perspiring from the effort. He revised their skills of simple defensive and attacking spells, and found that they were well ahead of their year level. He knew that Ginny had been part of the DA, but he wondered how Draco had become so good so quickly. He didn’t think that Lucius seemed quite the teaching persona, but there was a dark mystery in Draco’s eyes that defied him from asking. The two hours dragged on, and when Ginny was finally allowed to leave she was exhausted. She wandered up to the astronomy tower, wanting some cool air when she found herself to her surprise joined by Draco Malfoy. “What did you think of that?” he asked. “Frankly,” she replied honestly. “I don’t know how I’m going to cope. I’m so tired… and I was unconscious for three days!” “We’ll probably get used to it,” he said levelly. “Our bodies will adjust. I expect you’ll feel tired for a week or so and then get on top of it. Good about missing out on Defense against Dark Arts though, hey?” Ginny grinned. “You bet! I wonder if Harry and Ron and ‘Mione got off it too.” “Probably didn’t think to ask,” he said coldly. She noticed that whenever he was relaxed any mention of “the trio” would be sure to bring him back to his usual self. “Draco… Are you and Pansy going out?” He looked at her amused. “No. We’re just friends.” “Very close friends,” she said suspiciously. “And what about the Yule Ball?” “I took her as a friend!” he insisted. “She called you ‘Drakie’.” “That was annoying. But I didn’t think you would be one to criticize a crush.” “What d’you mean?” “What about your first year? At least Parkinson could talk to me without dropping something,” he smiled as Ginny turned red. “She had the same kind of crush as you had on Potter.” “A big one then,” muttered Ginny. Draco stiffened. “Yes. Luckily, she grew out of hers.” Ginny glared at him. “Was that an insult Malfoy?” “Of course not,” he smiled innocently. “Draco?” she said hesitantly. “Are we… still enemies?” His demeanor became thoughtful. “I don’t think so,” he said slowly. “I don’t think you get told that only united will you bring down the Dark Side without becoming…” he grimaced. “You know. I’ve never really been into the “F” word.” Ginny grinned. “So I’m privileged then.” “Yes. But don’t go telling people or you’ll be a privileged corpse.” She laughed, then yawned and apologized. “You better go to bed.” “Yeah. Things sure change in a day, hey?” “I suppose. Goodnight Ginny.” “Night.” She stood uncomfortably for a moment, unsure of whether to hug him or just leave. Feeling foolish, she held out her hand to shake his. He took it gently, but instead of shaking brushed his lips on her hand. They were standing too close for only recently reformed enemies, she realised. She could smell his aftershave; he hadn’t let go of her hand. Finally, she pulled it away, and left with a small glance over her shoulder at him. He was staring into the starry night. It was only as she reached the Gryffindor common room that she realized that Draco smelt exactly like Harry had in her dream. *** Draco entered the common room late that night, at half past one in the morning. Only Pansy Parkinson was left, reading a new book. She looked up when he arrived. “You’re up late.” “I got plenty of sleep in the coma.” he almost smiled. “Where’ve you been? I didn’t see you at dinner.” “I had to see Dumbledore… I ran into the Weaslette on the way.” Pansy sneered. “Why are you telling me this, Malfoy? You think I care about her?” “I’m telling you because we… Oh, fuck it. I guess I better start at the beginning.” He sat down and told her everything, leaving out the bit where he had watched Ginny sleeping on the windowsill for an hour and a half. “So you and the Weaslette have to work together?” He nodded. She laughed. “You poor bastard.” He felt a sudden rush of rage. “Goodnight Parkinson,” he said coldly, standing and heading up to the boys dormitory. Pansy looked at the mirror on the wall. “He couldn’t be,” she said firmly. “If you say so dear,” it sang back. *** It was with some hesitation that on Friday night, Ginny made her way down to the dungeons. Draco joined her at the top of some staircase that led deeper into the castle; she suspected it would lead to the Slytherin common room but did not ask, guessing that he wouldn’t answer. They walked swapping idle banter for a little until they reached the potions classroom. Draco didn’t seem at all worried, but then Harry had told her that he was Snape’s favourite. Ginny grimaced remembering Harry’s reaction to her and Draco having to spend so much time together. *Flashback* “It’s wrong!” Harry ranted. “You shouldn’t have to hang out with that… that evil, conniving little boy! What the hell was Dumbledore thinking? Maybe heart of ice could have meant someone else…” “Don’t be an idiot Harry,” she snapped in return. “How many people at this school have a heart of ice? Even most of the Slytherins have some good points, and I don’t think the prophecy wants me to join forces with Snape. No, it’s definitely him- Dumbledore thinks so and I believe him. Besides, he’s not that bad-” “Not that bad???” Harry yelled. “Are we talking about the same guy who’s made your schooling life a misery for the past six years?” “I’ve hardly been miserable. He was a nuisance- you’re just annoyed because you’re jealous.” “Jealous? Of the Ferret? Are you joking woman?” “Oh come on Harry. A certain part of you feels honored that you’re so important to wizards around the world. So was I. You’re jealous because Draco Malfoy may have something to do- something major to do- in stopping the Dark Side.” Harry glared at her. “I’d almost think that you want to hang out with him!” “Don’t be an idiot!” she repeated. “I’m just trying to stop the inevitable confrontation that is going to end with- with-” She hunted desperately for words to suit her needs. “End in tears?” Ron suggested quietly from the other side of the room where he had been watching. Both Harry and Ginny turned around and said in unison “What?” Ron turned red. “Mum used to say it,” he muttered. Harry made an exasperated snorting noise and turned back to Ginny. “Gin, you’re my girlfriend and I don’t want that evil-” “Oh so this is what it’s about then,” Ginny screeched. “You’re feeling threatened because you’re worried that I may fall in love with Malfoy? You are crazy, Potter. And you’re being too protective about me! D’you know what I do to people who get protective about me, Potter?” Ron winced. “I use my very good skills at Bat Bogeying!” Ron let out a little whimper. “So I’d watch it if I were you, Potter and if you don’t believe me ask my dear brother who poked his nose in one times too many about the guys I was seeing!” Ron gulped and nodded as Ginny stormed out of the room. *End Flashback* Draco smiled at Ginny and held the door open for her, stepping in after she did. The sallow face of Severus Snape glowered at them, greasy hair falling into his face. His cold, black eyes lingered on Ginny and again, almost automatically, Draco stepped up and stood next to her. Snape raised an eyebrow and surveyed the pair, a small, mocking smile forming on his lips. “So,” he drawled. “Once more I am to teach students the art of Occlumency. I cannot say I am pleased about taking a Gryffindor into my extra-curriculum classes-” Ginny snorted. Snape continued as if he hadn’t heard. “As behavior demonstrated by one such Lion was proved most unsatisfactory-” Ginny turned red and opened her mouth ready to retort when Draco stepped on her foot. “But as I have been given no other option, I see it is necessary. Well, to begin we are to learn the subtle art of potions. I must warn you that the only potions we will brew here that would not kill you on the spot are the antidotes to such mixes. You are not here to have fun- you two have been selected for a dangerous task and as such I will ask you to act responsibly. I have seen such behavior demonstrated by Mr Malfoy in his classes, but not as yet from you, Ms Weasley so I will expect a change from you, now, if not sooner.” Ginny was only restrained from flying at the Potions Master by Draco’s hand discreetly gripping her wrist. “You may take your seats.” Ginny and Draco sat at the small table at the front. Sitting with Harry at such a table she would have felt perfectly comfortable. Now, she felt acutely the closeness between them, the tension. Static electricity seemed to crackle between them and every time one of them brushed the other it was like an electric shock. Ginny couldn’t help but wonder what this feeling was. Sure, she knew she’d had a crush on him for ages, since last year but this wasn’t a crush. Ginny had crushes on heaps of people- this wasn’t like that. In her mind, the categories of romance when like this. A Crush: this was when she thought someone was pretty good looking and wouldn’t mind a good old game of seven minutes in heaven. In Like: This was what she was with Harry. She really, really liked them, sure even on the borderline of loved them, but she found many of their habits irritating, them often annoying and sometimes, when they were her best friend for many years and they’d hang out all the time and then she began to date them, she went out of her way to avoid them. In Love: She knew what this was. She didn’t think she’d ever felt this for a guy not in her family, although some often tripped across it momentarily. She was confused. Draco Malfoy slipped from category to category, and just as she thought he’d caught him permanently in one, he’d go and do something unexpected and brush out her grasp again. She contemplated for a moment creating a new category- ‘The Draco Malfoy Category’ before deciding that if ever Malfoy found out he’d be too smug. Sighing and bringing her attention back to potions; Ginny listened to Professor Snape with increasing dread. He was describing, in great detail, the way that you would die if you dared sip of the Lockjaw Potion. Even Draco looked slightly repulsed by this and by the gleam in Snape’s eyes, Ginny had a feeling that he was deliberately pushing her to try and see how much she would take. Finally finishing his lecture, he reeled off the ingredients and told them to go fetch them from the storage cabinet. “Excuse me sir,” Ginny said, furrowing her brow. “But what page will I find the procedure on? I didn’t quite memorize all of those ingredients.” Snape’s mouth twisted in a mean smile. “Ms Weasley, are you really so stupid as to think that we would leave the procedure for making such a deadly potion in a book? This particular brew was never written down; it is passed down from people speaking to others about it to avoid the recipe falling into the wrong hands. For this reason I will tell you the procedure and the ingredients twice and then expect you to know them.” Ginny gaped at him. “Are you hungry Ms Weasley?” She shook her head, confused. “Then I suggest you close your mouth and stop attempting to catch flies for dinner.” Ginny glared at him, and Snape once more smiled. He rattled off the ingredients again and between Draco and herself, they managed to remember them all. There were only four, but they had a habit of slipping out of your mind, probably to keep Death Eaters from remembering them, Ginny realized. Professor Snape told them the procedure twice and again it was a short one, though complicated and like the ingredients, hard to remember. Draco and Ginny struggled to remember them and Snape had to (with much lecturing) repeat the second and third step again. Eventually the potion was finished. It was a deep black, with blue steam rising gently from the surface. Its smell was enticing, and Draco felt drawn to pour himself a glass and sup of it. He reached with a thin ladle and was about to when Ginny grabbed his arm, staring at him in fear. “Draco,” she murmured, scared. “What are you doing?” He ran his hand through his hair, puzzled. What had he been doing? Lifting the ladle out, he placed it gently on the table. A drop (the last remaining drop on the ladle) slid gently off it and landed on the table. There was a hiss, and a in a matter of seconds the drop had evaporated, and there was a small, blackened hole that went right through the table. Snape saw it. “You see the effects that just one drop can do. Imagine the effects on a human, with a glass full. Be careful with this potion.” Snape pulled out two tiny crystal vials and filled each with the potion. The crystal, much to Ginny’s surprise did not melt or dissolve but instead held it. Snape, seeing Ginny’s curiosity for once complied with her wishes. “The crystal is reinforced with many powerful spells, some placed by Albus Dumbledore himself. You can be sure that these will not break nor be worn away.” He tapped them, and a small silver chain looped through each one’s cork (which was also pure silver). He tapped the cauldron holding the rest of the potion and muttered “Evanesco.” It disappeared. “Well, now that you have your draughts, we can proceed. But before, a word of caution. Those bottles are deadly poison. Whilst encased in crystal, you are protected from their acid and their enticing song-” his eyes fixed on Draco. “But never attempt to open the cork, for it will not open unless you need it.” A sneer fixed on his lips. “Another of the headmasters brilliant ideas,” he remarked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “You are also here to learn the art of Occlumency.” Snape’s voice resonated throughout the dungeon. “This is an extremely difficult art, and I do not expect either of you to be naturals at it, especially Ms Weasley…” He sneered as she bristled with anger. “I am going to try and invade your minds, and you must become completely emotionless. Think of no memories, try and keep all your thoughts blocked from me. If you must think something to keep yourself from going mad, think of inconsequential things, like what you had for breakfast, what your favourite color is, etcetera. Mr Malfoy, you will be first.” “Legilimens!” Snape hissed, and Ginny watched as that complete composure that she knew so well crossed Draco’s face. She watched as for almost ten seconds he appeared completely calm, then a strange emotion passed over his face; anger, and fear. As though he didn’t know what he was doing, he grabbed a bottle of ink and threw it at Snape. “Get out,” he bellowed. Snape withdrew just as the bottle crashed several centimeters in front of his foot. Draco was breathing heavily, only slowly once more gaining control of his emotions. “Reparo,” murmured Snape, fixing the bottle. “Well done Mr Malfoy that was very well performed. Did you by chance watch his face, Ms Weasley? Completely still, until I got to him. After a few months practice you should be very good with Occlumency. I think you have a natural gift after all.” “Now, Ms Weasley,” he smirked at her and Ginny felt dread cross her. What memories would she be forced to relive? What thoughts of hers would he see? She braced herself, trying to rid herself of all emotion and completely failing. Thoughts- ones that she did not wish to share- kept popping into her head. She took a deep breath, steadying herself. “Legilimens,” Snape spat, and Ginny unconsciously drew herself to her full height. She prepared for the invasion and was surprised… she didn’t feel any different. Snape too looked puzzled. “Legilimens,” he shouted again, and again Ginny felt nothing. Snape looked at her, astounded. “I don’t understand,” he muttered. “You are not using Occlumency to keep me out… What are you doing Ms Weasley?” “Er, nothing that I’m aware of sir,” she replied. Snape thought for a moment then suddenly understanding crossed his face, followed quickly by anger and annoyance. “Ms Weasley, you have a natural shield,” he said carefully, picking his words. She looked at him blankly. “It means that your mind is one of the few that has automatically created a guard against your emotions and thoughts… Can you think of any event in your life that may have caused this?” Ginny felt her mouth go dry. She knew exactly what would have caused ‘this’… but she didn’t feel quite comfortable admitting it in front of Snape, though it was probable that he already knew. “No sir,” she said quietly. His eyes stared into hers and she shifted uncomfortably, feeling naked under his gaze. She had a terrible feeling that Snape could sense thoughts… and she didn’t like it. “Very well then,” he said coldly. “I don’t want to push you too far in the first lesson. You are both dismissed.” Ginny and Draco quietly packed their things and left. Severus Snape’s eyes watched the doorway as they left, mind pulling ideas to explain Ginny Weasley’s strange reluctance to reveal what he knew that she knew was the cause of the shield. A sneer suddenly curved around his lips. Of course. *** As usual the pair proceeded to the astronomy tower and sat in silence for a moment. “Do you know what might have caused the mind shield?” Draco asked abruptly. “Yes, of course,” Ginny said softly. “My mind must have hated being invaded by Tom Riddle… I guess the moment it was free from his possession it made a shield against him… and others unknowingly.” Draco nodded, a look of understanding coming over him. “So why didn’t you tell Snape?” Ginny stared at him. “Are you mad? As if I’m going to tell him about that.” “He probably already knows.” “Not from my mouth he hasn’t. Of course I guess that Dumbledore must have told him but there’s no way in hell I’m going to go up to him and say ‘Hey, Snapey, old boy, old buddy, didja know that I opened the chamber of secrets? Yeah, that dude Tom Riddle possessed me, wicked hey? So that’s probably where I got my mind shield, eh?’ ” Draco couldn’t help but laugh and Ginny grinned smugly at him, glad that she had finally broken through his shield, until she felt a sudden urge come over her. Draco was leaning on the wall, and impulsively, Ginny stepped forward and wrapped her arms around his neck. Draco stared down at her bewildered for a moment. Then his arms went around her waist and he pulled her close to him. They stood like that for a few moments with Ginny’s head resting on his chest and his arms holding her tight. Finally Ginny raised her head, tears trickling down her face. “Draco,” she whispered. “I’m dating H-” “Shh,” he murmured. “I know. Just this is enough.” But she knew it wasn’t. In his eyes she saw the hunger and knew that it was mirrored in her own. She so desperately wanted to kiss him, to pull him close to her, to never let him go. Yet Ginevra Weasley had always been fair, and her heart almost broke at the idea of deceiving Harry. “Draco, I need to talk to Harry. I need to… make things right with him.” Draco stiffened. “We would never have worked anyway, Weasley,” he said coldly, completely misunderstanding her as he pulled away from her. “Better that we never tried.” Before she could reply he had suddenly reverted back to his cold demeanor. “Go away Weasley. I see too much of you already. Just… go.” Her tears fell fast and heavy; she tried to say his name but her throat would not allow her to. She left the astronomy tower and set off towards the Gryffindor common room. Entering, she saw the very last person she wanted to see…. Harry Potter.

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