He let out a low growl but didn’t stop her. Once the door was open, Ginny immediately bolted out, not stopping until she reached the end of the corridor.
“She’s a lost cause, mate.” said Harry dejectedly towards Ron, who was sitting on the floor in silence.
“Maybe not,” said Hermione.
“She’s gone.” croaked Ron in sadness.
After that, they sat in silence for quite some time.
“So Malfoy, what happened today in the Library?”
Draco looked up from his armchair, into the face of his best friend, Blaise Zabini.
“Well Pansy said that she was talking to Ginny, and Harry and Ron dragged her off kicking and screaming. She said that you were there, but left.”
“So you didn’t see them?”
“No. Why are you so interested?”
“No reason. I just got sorta used to that Gryffindor always hanging around the common room. I hope she still comes.”
“She hangs around the common room?”
“Yeah – you wouldn’t know, seeing as you’re always in the heads room.”
Draco grunted again.
“She wouldn’t let them tell her what to do.”
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right.” said Blaise with a far off look on his face. “She hardly seems like a Gryffindor, don’t you think? She’d fit so well in our house–”
“Ginny Weasley is a house unto herself. She’s too good for anything here.” Draco mumbled.
Blaise looked on in surprise.
“You like her, don’t you?”
It was Draco’s turn to look surprised.
“N-no... we’ve hung out once or twice - that’s it. I swear.”
“Well good. Because I think I like her. Wouldn’t want to compete with you.”
“She wouldn’t have you.”
“How do you know, Draco?”
“She won’t have anyone. She’s too detached from society. All she’s looking for is a good fuck - and that’s it.”
“You don’t know what you’re saying mate.”
“Neither do you.” said Draco, rising from his seat.
Blaise smirked, as if proving a point. Draco just rolled his eyes, and turned to leave the Slytherin common room, when the door opened revealing a very aggravated Gryffindor.
It was as if time had stopped – Slytherin and Gryffindor stared at each other, neither willing to blink, or move.
Blaise shuffled his feet warily, and said “ahem” in a loud voice. Draco and Ginny didn’t hear him, however, for both were in a staring contest to the death.
“Weasley...” Draco began, finally consenting to lose.
“What?” she began sharply. “I needed you. You weren’t there. What more is there to say? I found someone else I can talk to.” She nodded her head towards Blaise.
Instead of replying, Draco walked swiftly up to her and grabbed her arm. “We need to talk.” he hissed, and dragged her out of the Common Room.
Once they reached an unused classroom, Ginny yanked herself away from Draco and said, “what do you want?”
“I have to... ask you something.”
“I haven’t got all day, Malfoy.”
“Fine, then. I’d like you to tell me about... Tom Riddle.”
He watched as Ginnys eyes widened in fear, then hastily hardened again. “Why do you ask?”
“Look at this,” he said as he pulled out something from his pocket. It was a letter. Ginny grabbed it from him, and unfolded it.
Dear Draco, it read.
It has come to my attention that you have been seen with that Weasley girl as of late. Now, normally I would insist on not dishonoring your family by talking to such filth, but I have a plan. As you know, the Chamber of Secrets was opened in your 2nd year. You will remember that you asked me what roll I had played in it – and I refused to tell you. Now is the time.
Weasley was given a diary by me – a diary that held the soul of someone by the name of Tom Riddle. You won’t have heard of him, not many have. That insufferable twit Potter ruined my plans, but I’ve discovered a way for him to return. Potter gave the diary to me, which I will be sending you at a later time. Potter believed Riddle to be dead, but he’s not. He’s very much alive, as Weasley could be sure to tell you. I need you to proceed to talk to that muggle-loving trash, get her to trust you. It’s all apart of a larger picture.
Do NOT, let this letter fall into anyone’s hands but your own. I will disclose my plan to you at a later time, but if you follow through successfully, you will be honored by the Death Eaters, and welcomed by the Dark Lord with open arms.
Ginny looked up from the letter, and silently handed it back to him. Then she started to back away, and Draco was unable to read her facial expression.
“Who’s Tom?” he whispered.
Ginny shuddered, and wearily said, “not now. I need to talk to Severus.” Then she made her way past Draco, and down to Snape’s office.
Severus Snape was conflicted. He sat in his office staring blankly at the slimy walls thinking about his childhood, and how he could’ve chosen the right path – the path with Lily – but instead, he chose to serve a half-human who fought for a race of people he didn’t even belong to. Startling him out of his reverie, a knock sounded on his door.
“Come in.” he said curtly.
“Severus?” a soft voice floated throughout the room.
“Miss Weasley, what do you want?”
“I-I need someone to talk to.” her voice was filled with emotion, which was so unusual from the normally snarky, sometimes mean girl.
“Ginny, what is it?”
She came in and sat on his desk. Folding her legs under her, she began relating the letter that Draco had given her, and stopped when she told him about how he wanted to know more about Tom. The only person she’d ever told was Snape, who understood immediately.
“Ah, Lucius is trying to redeem himself in the Dark Lords eyes.”
“I thought he was in Azkaban!” said Ginny shrilly.
“There was a breakout – surely you heard about it? Ten Death Eaters that were held captive in there escaped.”
“The Dementors are no longer a threat to the prisoners.” said Snape simply.
“I wish Potter would just get on with it!” Ginny spat.
Snape smiled slightly, then his face fell. “The Dark Lord is not the threat, here. Tom is. He is the backbone to The Dark Lords existence, without him, there would be no war, no ‘the-Boy-Who-Lived, no Order of the Phoenix, and...” he faltered. “Lily Evans would not be dead.”
Ginny stood up and put her arms around Snape. “This has been bothering you lately, hasn’t it?”
He sighed. “Yes, I told Mister Malfoy... and ever since then, I haven’t been able to let it go.”
“I think you need a good shag.”
She heard Snape snort from where his head was buried in her shoulder. Then he said, “I think you and Mister Malfoy need a good snogging, you two are doing a tiresome dance.”
Ginny pulled back from the embrace in shock – how dare he say something like that!
“You are insufferable!” she cried.
“I’m just telling you the truth.”
“You really need to find yourself a woman. Unless, you already have one in mind?” Ginny searched his face, and then ever-so-slyly she began to probe his mind. (He had began to teach her Occlumency). But he had expected this and quickly blocked her from entering.
“Nice try, Miss Weasley. Five points from Gryffindor for invasion of privacy.”
She harrumphed, and began pacing.
“Should I tell him?”
“He showed you the letter. He must trust you - which is something Malfoys do not do - so take it into consideration.”
“Yes but... can I trust him? What if it was all apart of his fathers plan? Him to soften up to me - show me the letter and act as if he wasn’t up to something - it was be just like a Slytherin to do so.”
“Trust your judgement. And would you stop pacing? You’re making me sick.”
“Right, sorry. I suppose I’ll get going, shall I? I have your bloody essay to write.”
Snape smirked. “Speaking of Potions, I want you to join the seventh years in their Potions class. You’re bored.”
Immediately Ginnys face lit up. Potions was one thing that made her truly happy - the gentle simmering of the cauldron always calmed her nerves. Once again, she threw her arms around the professor.
“I knew you’d be pleased.”
“When can I start?”
“Tomorrow will be as good a time as any.”
“Do I still have to write that essay?”
Snape paused, then gave a rare smile. “No, I think not.”
“Good night, professor. And thanks.”
“Good night, Weasley... and five points to Gryffindor.”
Ginny smirked, and flicked him a cigarette. “Give this to Malfoy when you see him.”
Snape glared at her.
“Oh, and professor?”
“Yes Miss Weasley?”
“Narcissa is nothing like Lily, but maybe thats a good thing.”
“You’re not as quick about blocking your mind, anymore.” she said with a wink, then flipped her hair over her shoulder and walked away snickering to herself.
Draco woke up with a headache. Wonderful he thought. Just what I need. A headache on top of everything else. Mumbling to himself, he walked down to the common room and found Hermione flipping through a book. My day just got worse. He thought bitterly. In all of his time being Head Boy, Hermione never actually sat in the common room. She’d use their tower for sleep - and thats it.
“What are you doing, mudblood?” he snarled.
She glanced up from her book and glared at him.
“Shut it, you git. I’m allowed to read in my own common room, aren’t I? It’s not against the law, is it?”
“I don’t want your filth mussing up the furniture.”
“I think it’s your filth thats mussing it up. I’m not the one killing innocent people, am I?”
“That was low, Granger.” he hissed.
“You deserve everything you get.”
“And what exactly do I deserve?”
Hermione didn’t say anything. She really didn’t know what to say. Finally she settled on, “your comeuppance.”
Draco just snorted. “Tell Weaslette I have to see her.”
“She and I aren’t speaking at the moment.”
Draco must have looked surprised because Hermione then said, “don’t act as if you didn’t know. With you two so cozy and all.”
Draco snorted again. “Cozy? I wouldn’t touch that muggle-loving filth if she paid me. Although, she couldn’t, could she?” Then he glided out of the tower and made his way to his first class. Potions.
“I’m in the storeroom. You’re a bit early for class, are you not, Miss Weasley?”
“I got overexcited I suppose. What are we making today?”
Snape popped his head out of the door and said, “you’ll see.”
Ginny rolled her eyes.
“You should be thanking me. Today is a challenge for you, to see if you’re really up to this. Merlin knows you probably are - you’re probably going to be better than half of the class. Especially Potter...”
“Everyone is better than the-Boy-Who-Will-Not-Die.” stated Ginny, and was startled to hear a laugh from behind her.
She whirled around, to find Malfoy standing there.
“Still mad at me, then?”
She just glared at him in response, not ready to be on friendly terms with him again.
“What are you doing here, anyway?”
“Snape’s placed me in this class.” she said curtly.
“Speaking of which, where is he?”
“In here!” Snape yelled.
Draco strode over to the storeroom and stood next to Ginny.
“Severus... the holidays are coming up-” he began.
“Draco, I’ve already told you I cannot.”
Ginny cleared her throat. “Remember what I said, Severus?”
He glared at her, begrudgingly said “yes” and turned his attention back towards Draco.
“As I was saying, I cannot make it the first week. I have meetings to attend to.”
“Thank you.” Draco said, and made his way to his seat.
Ginny looked at Snape. “You’ve spent half of your life tormenting yourself over Lily’s death, when you know she wouldn’t have wanted that. Just think - you could’ve had Potter as a son.” a smile played on her lips as she said the last part.
“Now that is a truly horrifying thought.”
“I think so, too.”
By this time the class started filing in, and Ginny heard her name.
“What are you doing here?” asked Ron blankly.
“I’m in this class now.” she replied coldly, and sat next to Pansy, who was waving her over like an overexcited puppy.
Snape strode out of the storeroom and looked around the room. “You all are pathetic” he spat out. “A sixth year, and a Gryffindor no less, is in this class. She can brew potions around each and every one of you, and she doesn’t even have to look at her book. Nor does she flaunt her knowledge like a two year old.” As he said the last bit he looked pointedly at Hermione, who flushed. Snape continued. “Today we’re going to be working with partners - that I assign. You are going to be given six ingredients, and you must use all of them. Make a potion from memory. This will be completed before the end of the hour.” Then he paired everyone up, and Ginny laughed when he paired Harry up with Crabbe, Ron up with Goyle, and Hermione up with Theodore Nott.
“Last but not least, Draco and Ginevra.”
Ginny glared the meanest glare she could muster at her teacher, but he just laughed at her, albeit quietly. Then he waved his wand and ingredients appeared in front of the students.
And thus began the longest day of Ginnys life.
“Hellesbore, crushed Beetle, Waxbroth, Athrake Leaves, Ginger root, and Scarab juice.” Draco said, as he looked over the ingredients.
Ginny sat back and watched him, noticing how his eyebrows came together as he concentrated, making his nose wrinkle. Focus.
“No potion I can remember has any of these ingredients!” he said, clearly frustrated.
“Well it’s lucky I’m here then.” said Ginny in a very egotistical way.
“Someone sure thinks highly of themselves” Draco said nastily.
“Yes well, I’m a bit tired of hearing how great you are, because in all honesty you’re just a twat.”
but Ginny wasn’t listening. She began to chop up the Athrake Leaves in fierce concentration.
“What are you doing?” asked Draco, a bit panicky.
“I’ve thought of something brilliant.”
“You can’t just make something up!”
“Yes I can. I’m doing it right now.”
“What is it?”
“Well, I read somewhere about this potion - Felix Felicis - have you heard of it?”
“Yeah, isn’t it supposed to make you extremely lucky?”
“Yes. Well, what if there was a potion that made you extremely unlucky? You could slip it to your enemy, drink some Felix Felicis, and it all balances out!”
Draco gave her a look, but said nothing.
“What do you think?” she said after a moment of silence.
“How do you know it will work?”
“I don’t. But thats what potions is, isn’t it? If you want to make something to perfection, you have to go through trial and error. I don’t care much about the grade, I just want to see if it works. Now do me a favor and add 3/4 of the Scarab juice, stir twice clockwise, and three times counterclockwise. Keep repeating that until I say stop.”
Draco obediently took orders from her, wondering where she got so good at potions.
At the end of the hour, they were both sweating profusely, their robes long forgotten. It was like time had stopped, and it was just the two of them, balancing out ingredients, squabbling, stirring, more squabbling, and a near-cauldron leak. It was Professor Snape who brought them back to reality, saying that the time was up.
“We haven’t finished!” Draco whispered urgently. “Snape may like us, but he grades so hard-”
Ginny waved her hand and shushed him. “Stop being a baby. So what if we get a bad grade? Just think of all the possibilities of this potion...” she poured some in a vial and made to go place it on Snape’s desk. “Don’t clean up, Draco.” she commanded.
Once everyone was settled, Snape looked over the potions. Once he came to Ginny and Draco’s, he paused.
“What’s this?” his usual sneer was in place. Draco looked pointedly at Ginny, as if he was silently saying she’d better tell him.
“Why that, Professor Snape, is my ticket to the future. We’ve made it up, you see. I noticed that the ingredients given were what makes up half of Felix Felicis - so I thought to myself... ‘what if I were to experiment, and do everything completely backwards?’ so, that’s what we did. The end result is supposed to be an unlucky potion, but it’s not finished yet. That’s just the base-”
“Draco - what are your thoughts?”
“Well sir, I thought it was a good idea... a bit mad, yes, but a good one all the same.”
“Has it ever occurred to you two, that this has been tried before?”
Ginnys face fell a bit, but brightened up at the next thing he said.
“Although, it’s never been accomplished. Class dismissed, except for you two.”
Once everyone had gone, Draco and Ginny walked up to Snape’s desk. Unbeknownst to the three of them, the Golden Trio had ducked under a table so they could listen to the conversation.
“If you two want to, I’ll permit you to stay and work on this today... I have some things to do for Dumbledore so you’ll be on your own.” He thought for a moment, then said, “I think this will be extra credit, also.”
“Can I have a note for the restricted section?” Ginny asked before Snape turned to leave. He raised his eyebrows at her.
“I want to see how Felix Felicis is made,” she clarified.
“I have a book in my office, follow me.”
When they disappeared into the adjoined room, the Trio quickly scuttled out of the classroom. They looked at each other, Ron with an odd expression on his face.
“Who knew she was that good at potions?” asked Hermione.
“She’s friendly with Snape!” burst out Ron in disgust.
“Don’t vouch for her, Hermione.” said Harry quietly. “She’s not like us, anymore. I haven’t told you guys this, but I overheard her talking to Colin about Voldemort, and she actually called him ‘The Dark Lord’.”
Ron and Hermione gasped.
“But only Death Eaters call him that!” spluttered out Ron.
Hermione rolled her eyes. “If Ginny is a Death Eater, then Harry is best mates with Cornelius Fudge. Stop jumping to conclusions and realize that maybe we have been neglecting her. No one knew she could just make up potions like that. There’s probably a lot more we don’t know about her...”
“She’s not like us anymore, Hermione.” said Harry. “Lets just drop it and get to class.”