What happens when Fred and Geroge decide to test out their newest invention?
Snickering they burst into the boys dormitory causing Harry and Ron to look up from the Quidditch book.
"What's got you?" Ron quipped watching as the twins threw themselves on the bed.
"This." Crowing, George pressed an empty vile into Ron's hands. Wordlessly Ron looked at Harry, a sinking feeling pulling at his stomach.
"And what exactly is 'this'?" Harry inquired studying the vile.
"'This' is our newest, greatest invention!"
They shared a look unsure of what to make of the twins boast.
"Well what is it?!"
"It's a love potion."
Ron blanched gripping Harry's arm tightly noting that Harry wasn't doing much better. "And what would you want with a love potion?!" Ron squeaked.
"Don't worry Ron, they're just teasing. There's nothing in here."
"What was that Harry?" The twin's laughter had abruptly ceased. He gave them a funny look before tossing the bottle to them.
"Nice trick but there's nothing there."
"George....how much did you use?!"
"Well we only had one shot right? I mean we HAD to know if it worked or not! I don't bloody know how much he weighs!"
A long silence stretched between them, their grins slowly returning to their faces and Harry and Ron grew white. "Malfoy's going to have on hell of a headache in the morning!"
"Draco, you alright there?"
He tried to bury his head further into his arms. Ever since breakfast he'd felt continually worse, nauseated, his head spinning, his heart beating rapidly; ever since he'd bumped into Ginny Weasley in the halls earlier. She'd cursed him, he was sure of it. Problem was he wasn't sure if he minded just so long as she'd noticed him.
Abruptly his head snapped up. "Notice me?! Notice ME?!" Shouting to no one in particular he raced around the room. "Why should I bloody care if she notices me or not?!"
Ignoring Crabbe and Goyle's stunned expressions he stormed his way to Potions.
For what had to be the hundredth time he wondered what he was doing. It wasn't as if he loved her - certainly not - not with her hand-me-down robes, dirty, nappy curls of red silk, sparkling blue eyes and lips so soft....
Abruptly snapping to attention he gave his reflection a disgusted look even as his heartbeat quickened. There was absolutely no way he loved Ginny Weasley. That though placed firmly in mind he stared through the glass once more, critically eyeing the wide assortments of candies and chocolates.
Four pairs of eyes stared dumbly at the mountain of chocolates, candies, flowers, jewelry, pretty lacey things and god-knows-what-else that Ginny had promptly thrown down in front of them.
"He's just teasing me, I know it!" Fuming she stormed away. Slowly Ron raised his eyes to Harry's, then to the twins who were happily munching on the assorted treats.
"So," he gulped, "who's going to tell her?"
"Tell who what?"
Ron gapped at Fred as if he'd sprouted tentacles. Harry just shook his head.
"I thought you said it'd only last a day?"
"It would've, had he been given the correct dosage - I think."
"But you gave him more...what do you mean you think?!" Ron yelled his face suddenly matching his hair.
"How long will it last?" The twins looked at each other, then Harry and shrugged.
"Draco! Draco what's wrong with you?!"
He ignored him, continuing to mumble about witches and jewelry while Crabbe and Goyle shared a worried expression.
"How do I look?" Spinning around to show off his new robes he waited for the expected compliments, instead receiving dumbfounded looks from the pair. "Never mind," he growled strutting from the Slytherin common room in search of a certain red-haired witch that had invaded his every thought for the past four days.
He found her surrounded by a small group of Gryffindor girls who immediately glared as he approached. Lifting his head proudly in a way that always made the Slytherin girls swoon, he opened his mouth - and for the first time in his life stuttered. Instantly rude laughter erupted.
"Don't yell at them!"
Gulping he faced the witch that haunted him. "Gi...Ginny..."
He flinched at the venom in her voice certain she'd retained some of the Basilisk's poison. "Draco..."
"You can call me Draco," he breathed looking at her hopefully. "I don't mind."
Certain that this was just another ploy to tease her, Ginny narrowed her eyes. Still, he WAS acting rather strange.
"Did you like the flowers and candy? I wasn't sure what you liked so..."
Blushing crimson, she quickly turned her head away refusing to meet the bewildered stares of her friends. "Well....I..."
"It wasn't right was it? They were they wrong colors? But he said women love roses so I thought...I'm sorry I should've asked first, but I've never done this before and I..."
"Draco," she stated firmly ending his rant.
He looked up meeting her eyes, feeling that familiar warmth rushing through him. "Will you go to the Valentines Dance with me?"
He simply stared, too shocked to believe he had actually said it - without stuttering this time!
Ginny couldn't breathe. This was just beyond cruel. He KNEW she didn't have a date! He KNEW and now he was teasing her!
"You awful, awful boy!" Crying she tried to run, gasping as she felt strong arms wrap around her. Sniffling she look into blue eyes. His blond hair was a mess, yet the way it framed his face made him look like an angel, and he was so warm....
Blushing she looked down, waiting for the inevitable draft of cold air as he pushed her down, waited for the cruel laughter as Crabbe and Goyle snorted through their piggy noses. She waited for the inevitable punishment she'd be given for imagining even for a moment that someone as handsome as Draco Malfoy would ever like her.
"Ginny, I'm sorry."
She flinched at the sadness in his voice and the cold air she'd known would rush around her. Still the loss of his warmth shocked her, her heart still beating wildly against her ribs as she suddenly found her shoes quite interesting. Distantly she heard her friends voices comforting her, cursing him as he walked away, his heavy footsteps echoing down the hall.
Gathering every ounce of courage she lifted her head, glaring into his back, determined not to let him beat her - hoping all the while he was sincere. "Draco!"
He froze, his back still to her, his head drooping slightly.
"I'll need a new dress."
* Day Five*
She glared at her brothers while Hermione examined the gorgeous dress Draco had presented her with moments before, its yards of silk and lace now spilling over Ron's bed.
"Is it so hard to believe that someone could actually like your baby sister?"
Ron opened and closed his mouth several times liked a landed carp, receiving a harsh glare from her. The glare quickly turned on Harry as she noticed his insistent elbowing of George.
"What?! Not you too Harry!" She almost cried.
"No! No, it's just that...well George and Fred have something to tell you."
Confused she looked to the twins awaiting the news, something inside her insisting she didn't want to know. "Well?"
They shared a look before Fred revealed an empty bottle. Scrunching her brow, Ginny examined the bottle knowing somehow she'd fallen into the dreaded trap she'd suspected; she'd just thought it would be Draco, not her own blood. She listened as they explained the potion, how it worked and why they'd used Draco as a test subject. They apologized, begging her to forgive them, insisting they'd never meant to hurt her.
Staring at the empty bottle she simply sighed. It's my own fault. I let myself hope. I should've known...swans don't marry hens.
"It's alright, I'm alright." She smiled through her tears knowing it was already far too late for her heart. She'd let him in, there was no turning back now. Not when she'd already fallen into his eyes, could still feel his arms wrapped tightly around her.
"Oh Ginny...," Hermione whispered pulling her into a hug. "What will you do?"
She looked once more at the forgotten dress, discarded as easily as her dreams. I want...if for only one night.... She looked to her brothers, a sad smile pulling at her lips. "Can I have one more day?"
If nothing else she would always treasure the looks Crabbe and Goyle had shared when she walked into the ballroom arm in arm with Draco Malfoy; almost as much as she'd treasure the silly smile that had plastered itself to Draco's lips when he had first seen her. Hermione had helped, pinning her hair into a crown of red curls and forget-me-nots; she'd almost laughed at the irony.
Ron had blanched at discovering his baby sister had developed a figure that fit quite nicely within the yards of blue silk; a figure with a noticeable bust once pressed into the corset top.
She agreed she looked stunning - a proper Cinderella. Sadly though she knew at the stroke of midnight the fairytale would truly be over. Prince Charming would turn back into Mr. Wrong. Blinking away tears, she thrust her face into his shoulder as he led her around the dance floor. It's not fair!
His soft voice drew her back to the present. She'd have time enough to cry tomorrow, but tonight... /So close..../"Sorry I think I need some air." Smiling and praying he didn't notice the tears she abandoned him on the dance floor, all but running to the balcony.
Breathing deeply she tried to calm her racing heart. I almost kissed him! I wanted to! I wanted... She squeaked as someone wrapped their arms around her. Once again she found herself staring into his eyes. "Draco! You scared me," she giggled nervously trying to pry away from his strong embrace.
George and Fred had warned her that the potion couldn't possibly last past midnight. She was thankful it hadn't ended before then; thankful that Draco hadn't come to his senses on the ballroom floor in front of the whole school, calling her for the fraud she was. She was thankful, and she decided she'd be even more grateful if she could somehow disappear before the clock struck midnight in less than a minute.
She didn't want the prince to recognize her for the pauper she was.
Still she found she was unable to look away, unable to move as he pulled her close wrapping his arms around her waist, brushing his lips gently against hers. A warmth she'd never felt before sparked inside of her and everything was forgotten; everything but the feelings of his lips and the need to have more. Instinctively she molded her body into his, wrapping her arms around his neck as he deepened the kiss. His tongue danced with hers, tasting and teasing with gentle touches.
In the back of her mind she heard the clock strike but in her blissful state she couldn't comprehend why it was important. Not with him so very close, so very warm and so very, very delicious. As they parted she heard the final dong sounding midnight - and froze.
She waited for it, the disgusted look of anger, perhaps even a swift blow to the peasant who forgot her place. Instead he offered her a dreamy smile and his arms, escorting her back to the dance floor. Wrapped in his arms she decided this was heaven, thankful for once that the twins had been wrong again.
Sleepily he opened his eyes, glaring at the bright sunlight flooding the window. It took him a moment to realize there was someone there.
Instantly the two bullies were on him, demanding to know what he had been thinking bringing Ginny Weasley to the dance. He offered the only explanation he had, the note Fred and George had given him before the dance. The note explaining about the potion, asking him to not take his anger out on Ginny, explaining she'd been innocent in the incident and promising to be his willing slaves for the next month.
Satisfied Goyle and Crabbe had begun their rant of revenge, oblivious to Draco's wistful stare.
/It's better this way/, he decided glaring at Ginny on his way to breakfast. /This is how it should be...still I'll never forget how soft her lips were/. Smirking he decided it was better if no one ever knew the potion had worn off long before midnight. Some things were just better left unsaid. /Like...I love you/.