By Hannah Davenport (email@example.com)
Summary: Sequel to "Bent". When Harry, Hermione, and Ron find out about the friendship between Draco and Ginny, things don't go very well. Although she tries to put up a front of anger, Ginny can't help but wonder why Draco wants to be her friend. He is the gorgeous, lovely young man at the top of his class, hanging out with the lowest specimen of the Weasley family, people he has hated for years. What does he want from her?
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. It's just fan fiction!
< >It woke him up in the middle of the night. It stared him in the face every morning when he awoke from the very little sleep he had had the night before. It seemed to be watching him wherever he went: in his classes, at meals... He hated it.
< > He couldn't stand the feeling of being watched, even though he was getting used to it after almost eighteen years of life. And even worse was the gnawing sensation he had every time he passed Ginny in the halls, because he wasn't permitted to stop and have a chat. He didn't feel like talking to her, but he wanted to. And there was also the issue of Potter... But something strange was going on with Potter and Ginny. It wasn't as it had been for the past six years: Potter telling something to someone and Ginny trying desperately to listen in as she dropped all her schoolbooks and blushed furiously.
< >No, because suddenly, the part about Ginny was deleted. And there were only two logical explanations, Draco thought bitterly. Either she's finally gone and done something like kissing the stupid git, or she wasn't in love with him anymore. But if she wasn't in love with him, who was she in love with? So he went with the first notion, entertaining it until he was back to his old self completely, except for one thing: much more sardonic this time.
< >One day, on his way to Defense Against the Dar Arts, he found himself in a very long line of hall traffic, and who should he be privileged enough to stand behind but the trio and Ginny. Feeling a sudden burst of hate pulsing through him, he did the only thing that he could do in a crowded hall. He kicked Potter in the back of the knees, and with someone deciding to give Draco a bit of luck, Potter fell on his stupid famous face. Immediately, the other three turned around to see who would do something like that, and there was a great deal of fuming from Weasley until he finally said something that made sense.
< >"What did you do that for, eh?"
< >"Trust me, Weasley," Draco replied with a smirk. "There was plenty of reason behind it."
< >Weasley started towards him, but it surprised Draco when Ginny held onto the back of her brother's shirt. "Ron," she whispered to him. "Just calm down. You're going to have to learn that Draco isn't as bad as he seems."
< >"Oh, I'm not, am I?" he asked her, raising an eyebrow. "Well, little Weasley, we're just going to have to see who's right about that. Entertaining the notion that I'm an angel somewhere deep down is going to cost you something someday."
< >She stuffed the back of her brother's robes into Granger's hand, and walked over to Draco, she looked up at him so that their noses were almost touching. She then proceeded to remove her glasses, and stare deeply into his eyes. He felt the skin along the outline of the Dark Mark prickle. This went on for quite some time, even after the bell rang the people in that particular corridor remained, staring transfixed at the peculiar sight.
< >"Draco," Ginny said finally, her voice barely above a whisper. "you really must stop letting vindictive thoughts travel through your brain, and inviting them to stay a while. I understand you're upset, but really..."
< >He swallowed. It sounded more like a threat than a statement. "Oh - ok-kay." he choked out. This seemed good enough for Ginny, because she patted him on the head, and flounced into the classroom. And as Draco sat there, stunned by her casualty, he thought one thing: She smells very, very nice.
< >"Good afternoon," Annie said coolly. "Today we are going to be learning about the Runespoor." She pulled out some cardboard boxes. "Now, these Runespoors are only babies, and for your enjoyment, I have turned them different colors. Since I'm not feeling very well today, I'm just going to ask you to come and pick a Runespoor out of a box, and read about them on page 284 of your textbooks. I really need to go lie down, so I'll leave the Head Boy and the Head Girl in charge."
< >Draco's heart was pounding. He didn't want attention drawn to himself after yesterday... So, he walked to his cousins' desk, and looked at the Runespoors. They were snakes with three heads. They were all different colors, except they had black stripes, somewhat like a tigers. He found a bright green one, and picked it up. Seeing Granger take a seat behind Annie's desk, Draco collected his book, and sat on the desk itself, absently stroking the Runespoor's heads.
Runespoor - Ministry of Magic Classification: XXXX
< >The Runespoor originated in the small African country of Burkina Faso.
< >A three-headed serpent, the Runespoor commonly reaches a length of six or seven feet. Livid orange with black stripes, the Runespoor is only too easy to spot, so the Ministry of Magic in Burkina Faso has designated certain forests unplottable for the Runespoors sole use.
< >The Runespoor, though not in itself a particularly vicious beast, was once a favorite pet of Dark Wizards, no doubt because of its striking and intimidating appearance. It is to the writings of the Parselmouths who have kept and conversed with these serpents that we owe our understanding of their curious habits.
It transpires from their records that each of the Runespoors heads serves a different purpose. The left head (as seen by the wizard facing the Runespoor) is the planner.
It decides where the Runespoor is to go and what it is to do next.
< >The middle head is the dreamer (Runespoors may remain stationary for days at a time, lost in glorious visions and imaginings).
< >The right head is the critic and will evaluate the efforts of the left and middle heads with a continual and irritable hissing. The right heads fangs are extremely venomous.
< >The Runespoor rarely reaches a great age, as the heads tend to attack each other. It is common to see a Runespoor with the right head missing, the other two heads having banded together to bite it off.
< >The Runespoor produces eggs through it's mouth, the only known magical beast to do so.
These eggs are of immense value in the production of potions to stimulate mental agility.
A black market in Runespoor eggs and the serpents themselves has flourished for several centuries.
< >Draco looked up, and saw that several people were gathered around Potter, asking him to tell them what their Runespoor thought of them. All it did was slash a bit more of his self-confidence away, and he made a vow to hit Potter as hard as he possibly could.
< >That evening, Ginny sat in the Gryffindor common room, staring into the fire, which was steadily burning out. It was well past midnight, and she was still being told of by Ron, Harry, and Hermione.
< >"How could you defend him?" Ron asked incredulously. "The git is a stinking, conniving, crafty, filthy, stupid -"
< >"Excuse me," Ginny said quietly. "But, how can he be conniving and stupid at the same time? It's rather an oxymoron, isn't it?"
< >"That's beside the point!" Ron bellowed. "The point is, you should listen to us, Ginny. We're your friends, and we know what's best for you when you don't."
< >Behind Ron, Hermione was wearing a look of something like sympathy. Harry was simply looking embarrassed.
< >"With all due respect, Ron," Ginny whispered, interrupting again, "none of you are my friends."
< >"What?" the three of them asked in unison.
< >"Of course we are!" Ron said, shocked.
< >"Ron," Ginny sighed. "You're my brother, not my friend." (This seemed to offend Ron greatly) "You see," she began again, "I had a crush on Harry, but that didn't mean he was my friend. And Hermione is more like a schoolwork consultant than a friend. If you three had been my friends," she paused, feeling dreadfully guilty at the prospect of revealing her true feelings on their supposed friendship. "If you three had been my friends, I'm certain I wouldn't have heard 'Go away, Ginny.' or 'This is private, Ginny'. I wouldn't have been alone for the past six years, and I was just wondering, did any of you know I broke my right arm in my fourth year?"
< >The three of them looked at each other nervously, as though the guilt were unbearable. "Of course we did," Ron pressed, elbowing the other two.
< >"Ron," she replied. "If I remember correctly, you three were at a Quidditch match. But, that may be incorrect. I know a couple of people were sitting with me while Madam Pomfrey mended my arm..." she paused thoughtfully, hoping reality would sink in. "Oh wait, that was Neville and Colin. And the night Harry saved me from Tom, after Mum and Dad left the hospital - that was Neville and Colin. And that time Pansy Parkinson set my hair on fire - no, that was Neville and Colin as well. But, there was that time we had the Veritas Curse put on us in class - no, that was Draco. And who forgot my birthday - you. Well, Hermione remembered, but she had fallen asleep and forgotten to give me my present. But Draco remembered."
< >"Ginny," Harry began.
< >She looked at him sharply. "Do you happen to know my favorite color?" she asked testily. She then turned to Ron. "Do you know what my favorite book is?" She looked at Hermione, who was waiting for her share of the flaying. "None of this has anything to do with you," she added. "You know, I think you're something like a sister to me. But seriously Ron, I really think I should be the one telling you off for various reasons."
< >She stood up, and looked into her brother's eyes defiantly. "My favorite color," she continued, "is violet. My favorite Muggle book is The Cat Who Wished to be a Man by Lloyd Alexander, and my favorite magical book is The Rain by Gertrude Giddledon. But don't bother retaining that information, as there's already three people who care enough to know."
< >With that, she tossed her hair and headed up the staircase to the girls dormitories, Hermione at her heels. But, she walked slow enough to hear Ron say to Harry: "What do you think she meant when she said she had a crush on you?"
< >Ginny got in bed, and sat there for quite some time, thinking about what a mess she was in with Draco. About how badly she wanted this all to be over. About that day before Christmas that had caused so much unnecessary problems. And about...
< >The day was upon him.
< >Draco awoke very early on January 17th and found the sky as gray as he felt. But, the plus side was that it was a Saturday, and he could spend all day out in the pouring rain without a soul disturbing him. Particularly a redheaded soul.
< >He dressed quickly and quietly. His roommates were still asleep, and he didn't want anyone asking where he was going. It was a hobby of Draco's: eluding questions. It was one of the only things that he could do without screwing up. That, dancing, and fencing.
< >He decided to take his Runespoor (whom he had named Killer) with him, because he could afford to be accompanied but not spoken to.
< >As he walked out onto the cold grounds, quickly finding himself a dry place to sit, Draco muttered indistinctly. Letting Killer sit lazily on his lap, he took his wand out of the pocket of his cloak, and looked at the black surface of the wood. Ebony, sixteen inches, containing one vampire fang. He remembered very clearly what the shop-master had told him when they had found his wand.
< >"I think it is safe to assume we will be seeing great things from you, Master Malfoy."
< >"What if I don't want to do great things?" he asked Killer abruptly. "What if I simply want to sit here for the rest of my life?" Killer gave him a look as though to say, "I really don't think you have much of a choice."
< >"Well," Draco sighed warily. "I agree with you there."
< >They spent the rest of the morning in silence as the dark and gloomy sky slowly faded into a lighter and gloomy sky. Draco was glad of this. After all, it was his eighteenth birthday, and if he didn't want to be disturbed, he shouldn't be disturbed. It went that way until well past dark.
< >"Draco, there you are!"
He recognized the voice and looked away. "Can't a man get some peace?" he asked bitterly.
< >Ginny walked closer and sat down next to him. "This is really important, Draco." she said quickly. "I think I've had an epiphany."
< >"Why are you telling me, then?" he continued, anger rising in his tone. "Is Potter busy?"
< >"No," she said, sounding perturbed. "This doesn't concern Harry -"
< >"Ginny Weasley," Draco snapped. "I don't want to be talked to. I want to be left alone. This is quite possibly the worst day of my life and I don't want to have to share it with anyone."
< >"Draco -"
< >"I'm not going to listen to you." he said angrily. "I'll just sit here and ignore you until you go away, because you're impossible!"
< >"Please listen to me -"
< >"No. Killer and I are just going to sit here, ignoring you." he plugged his ears and began to hum loudly. He saw her stand, say something he couldn't hear, and then she kicked him in the shin. "AAAARGH!" he screamed, unplugging his ears. "What on earth did you do that for?" he asked bitterly, rolling up the leg of his pants to see if she had hurt him worse than assumed.
< >"To get you to listen to me," she replied, sitting down next to him once more. "You see, last night I was in an argument with Harry and Ron."
< >"I'm not listening, I'm not listening..." Draco repeated to himself.
< >"And then, when I went to bed, I was thinking a lot."
< >"I'm not listening . . ."
< >"I thought about you, and all that stuff that happened, and I realized something."
< >"I'm not lis - you were thinking about me?"
< >"I don't like Harry." she said proudly.
< >"What? You're joking, right? I mean, everyone knows you like Potter... What!?"
< >She went on, ignoring his comments. "And here's my epiphany: I was scared, Draco. I was scared that my family would disown me, or my brothers would hunt you down and gut you like a fish. But, I think I don't really care anymore."
< >His mind went blank. The only thing he could think to say was "WHAT?" but that didn't seem suitable, as he had already said it enough. "C-could you please repeat that last bit?" he asked nervously.
< >She looked at him, and he looked back. And then she did something that was so un-Ginny that Draco nearly exclaimed, "WHAT?" She put one hand on each side of his face, and she kissed him.
< >"Right about now," she said quietly, pulling back and looking at his stunned face, "there would be a discussion on things like 'we have to keep this a complete secret' and all that stuff. And we really should, because there would no longer be a Malfoy family heir if we didn't. And, our fathers would probably finish each other off. But, Draco . . ."
< >She leaned up against him, her head on his shoulder. He put an arm around her. "I know, Ginny," he whispered. "What were you fighting with Potter about?"
< >"Well, we had a fight yesterday, and today. Today, he told me I was off the Quidditch team. He said for all he knows I could be spying for you. He said that I was never that great anyway."
< >"Ginny," Draco sighed. "I've been telling people for seven years: Harry Potter is not wonderful."
< >"Well, at least someone believes you that isn't in your house," she replied. "And do you know why I told you about my epiphany today?"
< >"No," he said.
< >"Because today's your birthday," she said, smiling up at him. "And - please don't think I'm being ridiculous - I love you."
< >"I love you too," he replied. "Ginny, I want to apologize for -"
< >"It's all right," she sighed, leaning on him once again. "I knew you never meant any of it."
< >"Ginny," Draco began again. "Do you think we might ever get married?"
< >"It's within the bounds of the imagination," she giggled. "But, when you propose, please don't do it the traditional way."
< >"Why not?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.
< >"Because I want a relationship that matches the people," she responded with a yawn. "And we aren't exactly traditional, now are we?"
< >Draco chuckled softly, and kissed the top of her head. Very soon, she was sound asleep, and Draco held her protectively. He didn't want to sleep. He had too much to think about, and stayed up until even after the pinkish orange glow of sunrise lit the dark sky, and the rain stopped. They were sopping wet, they were not supposed to be together, and they were in the same boat.
< >Draco Malfoy: shunned by everyone but the people who want something from him. Beaten and somewhat abandoned by his parents. Friendless, except for Crabbe and Goyle, who are too thick to understand 90% of their homework. Wand: Ebony, sixteen inches, containing one vampire fang. Verlorens.
< >Ginny Weasley: shunned by everyone because of her originality. Psychologically damaged by being alone. Ignored by her "favorite" brother. Friendless, except for Neville and Colin, who don't understand 90% of the things that she tells them, because they're just not girls, or Draco. Wand: Cypress, fifteen and one half inches, containing one dragon heartstring from a Norwegian Ridgeback. Ollivanders.
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