Seeing Past The Facade by jessdarkwater
Ginny Weasley was sitting at a table in the Library, hoping for a quiet night away from Ron –her only remaining brother at Hogwarts and insufferable Head boy (though not as infuriating as Percy, just really, really nosy)- from the Gryffindor common room and from anything that might disturb her.
Tonight, the library was ideal, since Madame Pince was involved in an overnight vigil at the bedside of her daughter at St Mungos.
Needless to say, the whole school had been shocked –since the cause of accident and injury was unknown, though most likely stemmed from the death eaters, the school had also rejoiced; they could take all the restricted books they had ever wanted, that were until Madame Pince had given the magical keys to Ginny.
This action had alienated Hermione who was completely and absolutely bewildered.
Now, Ginny was sitting on a comfy armchair, by the fire, in the gloriously quiet and deserted library, having caught up all her mounds of 6th year homework and was now currently reading a muggle romance book.
She sighed softly, turning over another page, and watched interestedly as a diminutive house-elf tentatively poked at the fire, not noticing the witch's eyes peering above the flimsy book.
She turned another page, startling the house-elf into disappearing with a crack.
She shuddered as the fire spat, and petered out into glowing ashes. Sitting up from her slumped position, she groaned and stretched, gradually standing up.
Searching out her wand, she found only keys and puzzled over its disappearance. Mum would kill her if she had lost it; she normally kept it on her at all times.
Frustrated, she knelt down on the cold marble of the immense fireplace and searched for matches or any muggle means of creating a fire.
Not noticing muffled footsteps, she cursed at the darkness, feeling with her hands, until she felt something rodent-like crawl over her left hand, making her withdraw it from the shadows with a shriek.
She stumbled back into a very real and very alive human body. She shrieked once again, gaining a chuckle from the body.
Stepping away gingerly, she turned quickly and peered through the darkness trying to see who had disturbed her.
She decided that it was a he. It had been a very masculine chuckle that had woven its way through to Ginny's ears.
She backed away, trying to find her once cheerful armchair. She started when her knees came into contact with the seat and sat down suddenly.
'W-who is it?'
Another chuckle pierced the darkness.
'I think you dropped something,' came the voice, and the sound of something travelling through the air made her raise her hands. She wrapped them, amazed, around her wand.
Giving a sigh of relief, she said with relief 'lumos' and grinned as the room was suddenly filled with light.
Looking over her shoulder, she attempted to catch a glimpse of 'him'. But she only saw a tall and lean body, leaning against one of the bookshelves. His face covered in shadows.
Standing up, she walked over to the bookshelf and enquired as to the former whereabouts of her wand.
'Outside the kitchens. You're lucky that those infernal creatures didn't pick it up or the castle might now be a birthday cake.' The drawling voice jolted Ginny's memory and she suddenly knew who it was.
'The house-elves aren't infernal, it's just your family that treat them badly.' She knew she sounded like Hermione but at that point she didn't care.
She didn't care what she did in front of him, it's not like she had any reason to impress him, he hated her family.
'You'll find that the majority of the wizarding community agrees with me, Weasley,' came the infernal voice, 'and if you aren't careful, you might turn out to be Hermione's clone, just better looking.'
Ginny shuddered. He had obviously seen, and to mask her surprise at his last comment, she added under her breath, 'that, would be disastrous, I do not want to be like Hermione.'
'What?' he now sounded surprised, 'you don't want to bePotters,' he spat out the word with distaste, 'lap dog, at his every beck and call? I thought that was what you wanted?'
Ginny snorted. 'Harry is in love with Se-someone else, he doesn't want a little girl following him round. Anyway, I was over that stupid and embarrassing infatuation in fourth year. Anyway, it was fun to see Harry's and especially Ron's face when they found out I was dating before them. It was like all my Christmases had come at once.' She giggled, and put a hand over her mouth in distaste.
He chuckled once again, stepping out of the shadows and slinking over to the large sofa, collapsing onto it.
'I didn't know you could talk like that Virginia; you tend to be mouse-like around anyone but that idiot Creevy. Glad to know you're over it, however you don't seem to be a little girl anymore.'
He looked her over, bringing a flush to match her hair. She then realised what he had called her and a different shade of red appeared on her face.
'The name is Ginny. G-I-N-N-Y. Not Weasley. Not anything but Ginny.' She scowled.
'And anyway, the name isn't Virginia. Never has been, and never will be unless I can find a way to break into St Mungos to change my name completely.' Snorting, she shook her head, 'be thankful that you got a nice and normal name Malfoy.'
He stared at her in disbelief, the sneer gone.
'Normal. You think being named after a dragon, albeit in Latin, normal? When has any name in the Malfoy line been normal? My father doesn't even have a normal name. Imagine being named after Satan? I know he acts like it but it's not normal.'
She looked on in amazement as Draco Malfoy spoke in sentences of more than two words, not including insults.
He noticed her stare.
'I don't always insult anyone Wea-G-Ginny. Hey, don't widen your eyes. I do have more than two brain cells to rub together unlike some people who have more than their fair share...'
Ginny ignored the latter jibe and marvelled that he had remembered to call her by her name and not by her awkward surname.
'Anyway, stop changing the subject-'
'I didn't, I just made a face-'
'What is your name then Ginny?' he drawled slowly.
'Well...you see...' she looked at the floor and traced her shoe in an unknown pattern, well aware that she was blushing.
He looked on amused. She could feel his gaze burning into her down turned face in amusement and yet scepticism that any name could be so embarrassing.
She coughed, and started to talk, unsure of where to start.
'Do you remember my sorting?'
He nodded. 'The Creevy idiot was taking pictures of everything. And you were last.'
'Yeah,' she coughed again, wincing, and rubbing her arm. 'Well, don't you remember that Professor McGonagall started to read out my name and then checked with Professor Dumbledore, and then read out a different name entirely?'
'Oh yeah, the Slytherins thought that you were perhaps some muggle, apart from the hair and freckles. Or that they'd got your name wrong or something.'
'Thanks a lot. Well actually, Professor McGonagall kinda thought that it was a bit mean to call out my name considering, anyway, she knew me as Ginny.'
'Considering what? Stop avoiding it. It can't be as bad as McGonagall's name herself.' Draco smirked, itching with curiosity.
Ginny muttered under her breath. Dracos smirk just widened, 'I'm sorry Weaslette, but I didn't hear that little piece of information.'
Ginny sighed. 'I suppose I don't have a chance, you'll just think up more worse sounding names. But it is rather worse than McGonagall's name. It even sounds like it a bit and makes people think I'm really old. It's awful.'
'Jus cut the crap and get on with it.'
'Ginevra Weasley.' Ginny cringed, waiting for the laughter. Her ears met silence. She looked up to see Draco looking in disbelief. Shock lining his face.
'I take back what I said before. It is worse than my name. But it's not like anyone else knows it?'
'Mum knows. She chose it, dad must know, and Bill and Charlie because they were old enough to remember. The twins found out last summer, but they've vowed to help me change it because they 'couldn't bear to leave with something that hideous and anyway it would ruin their reputation.' Or something.'
'Does Weasel know?'
'No...' she coughed again. Draco looked on in concern.
'What's the matter? Do you need to go to the infirmary?'
She coughed again and rubbed her arm, before slumping and pulling her knees to her chest. Unknowingly, Ginny was watched with concern paramount to that of her parents.
He stood up and knelt on the floor by her chair.
'Ginny,' he whispered. 'What's the matter?'
Again he noticed that every time she coughed, spasms racking her whole body, she rubbed her left arm as though in pain. Ginny opened her eyes, tears running down her cheeks.
'My arm. Do you know anything that will erm...act as a painkiller?'
'Sure, but what.... okay....' He lifted his wand, aiming it at her arm for lack of a better place and whispered 'praesidium de poena'.
Ginny breathed out loudly, exhaling and inhaling in deep breaths.
'Hey. If you weren't going to go to Madame Pomfrey then it was the least I could do. Just,' he grabbed her thin arm, 'let me see.' And then he pulled up the sleeve. He didn't seem disgusted, only mildly shocked and dismayed.
For on her left forearm was a glowing dark mark. The sign of Lord Voldemort. And Draco rolled up the sleeve of his sweatshirt to show a matching emblem, albeit a non-glowing one.
Ginny stared in shocked disbelief, until the spell wore off, and she finally noticed that the mark had stopped feeling red-hot.
Draco had knelt the whole time, trying to figure this latest puzzle out.
Obviously she wasn't someone who would get the mark willingly but then why was she branded? He decided it was best to share his story and hope for hers in return.
'I didn't get this by choice you know.' Ginny looked up and met his gaze.
'When I was born, before Potter and the musketeers, my mother was put into a dreamless sleep by the healer at St Mungos and my father took me to show Lord Voldemort the next generation of Malfoy.
Whilst he was there, he asked Lord Voldemort to mark me, so as to remind me, as I was growing up, of who I was loyal to and to whom I would serve.
Needless to say, when my mother recovered, father had put a concealing charm on my arm to avoid letting my mother know. The problem was that he forgot to tell me, so that I got puzzled why my arm would hurt every time father had to go to one of his meetings.
I asked my mother and she found the charm and removed it. That was the summer before first year. She then got in touch with my great aunt Gertrude and had a salve put on the mark, so that it doesn't hurt anymore. I don't even feel Lord Voldemort summoning the death eaters anymore. Unlike you.'
Ginny knew it was her turn. She sighed and started to talk, thinking it out as she went along.
'I suppose you remember your second year? Do you remember what 'memorable' event happened?'
Draco started at her distaste when telling of the memory.
'Well, I remember Dumbledore getting sacked,' Ginny glared at him. 'Okay. I was only joking. Well, apparently the Chamber of Secrets was opened, Potter turned out to be a parseltongue and you were in the Infirmary for weeks, and Granger got petrified.'
'Yeah, well, did the students ever find out who opened it?'
'Well Potter, he was the only one who seemed likely, but he never did answer any questions.' Draco mused.
'It was me.' That sentence threw Draco off for a second before he regained his disbelief.
'Your father gave me a diary. Tom Riddle's diary. Tom Riddle a.k.a Lord Voldemort. He kinda took me over and made me do stuff. And I am well aware of what that sounds like Malfoy so stop the smirking.
Anyway, before Harry defeated the Basilisk, almost losing his life, Tom threw a spell at me, and that's the last thing I remember, before waking up with Harry standing over me.
Then I remember having to tell my parent what happened in Dumbledore's office with Ron standing there, disgust on his face.
Then I suppose I remember endless days in first the Infirmary, drinking those disgusting concoctions of Madame Pomfrey, and then the library. And I'm still trying to find stuff out.
Unlike you, my mark burns every hour. I've gotten used to it; if Harry wakes up with his scar burning then either my arm will burn like there's no tomorrow or I will have already woken up screaming.
I know that Dumbledore knows, and Madame Pomfrey. But not my parents. Can you imagine their reaction? Or Ron's? I don't even want to imagine it. They would disown me... okay, maybe I'm overeating but I'd be tainted.
Anyway, Ron doesn't trust me with anything anyway, he still thinks of me as his little baby sister. It's infuriating.'
Draco sat silent for a minute mulling over her story. Hers was different to his, not only did she have a loving family, but they would do anything for her. How different from his life.
It was nice to be able to talk to someone normal –someone who didn't care about what their outward appearance meant, who didn't care how many galleons they earn per week.
Draco could feel her gaze on him as he mused, taking a few seconds longer to study her from beneath his eyelashes.
He stood up and Ginny started with fright at his unexpected movement. He strode over to her, his long strides covering the ground easily and pulled her into a standing position, she slumped against him surprised and he felt the corner of his mouth lift in a quirky smile at her clumsiness.
He wrapped his arms around her. To his amusement he found she was shaking. Tipping her head towards his, his height making the position difficult, he said huskily, 'Thank you, for everything.'
'Just for being normal and not putting on an act because of who I am, though if you really hate your brother, then give him a kick up the arse from me, we'll see if we can lodge his head any further up...' Draco chuckled.
Ginny shuddered, 'Bad, bad, yucky, sordid, mental image here Draco, thanks a lot.... eugh...'
He laughed again, the press of his stomach against Ginny's made for some annoying tickling sensations and she was soon laughing too.
He stopped after a few minutes and looked at her oddly.
He looked at her oddly again.
'You seem to be saying that a lot lately. I just couldn't remember what we were laughing about.'
'Erm... I'm not sure about you, but you were tickling me!'
'What? Like this?' and Ginny burst into another fit of giggles, struggling to get out of the locked embrace that was Draco's.
Suddenly, she realised what a compromising position they were in and stayed as still as a rabbit caught in a headlight.
This time it was Draco who said 'Wha-' before Ginny caught him by surprise. Quick as a flash, she caught his lips in a wide smile and kissed him abruptly.
'What was that for?' Draco said surprised, trying to look infuriated.
'A present for not taking me at face value, and not judging me, well before we'd even talked.'
'Oh, but I did!' Ginny's eyes widened, frightened. 'I took you to be a gorgeous woman who I knew nothing about and wanted to get to know better, despite the connection with Mr Weasley.'
Draco reluctantly released his arms and strode away passed the bookcases.
He turned round confused. Ginny flew at him and kissed him once again.
'What was that for?' Draco asked surprised and gratified, looking at her lips hungrily.
'I wanted to erm... hinder you. I forgot to ask you something.'
'How did you even get in here in the first place?'
A devious smile crossed Draco's face and a spark of mischief appeared in his eyes.
'A Malfoy never reveals his secrets...' And he disappeared from view. Confused Ginny poked where he had been and felt two invisible arms give her a brief hug before the footsteps drifted away into nothing.
Returning from the dimly lit bookcases, Ginny returned to find the fire lit again, and her wand missing. She sighed. Gathering up her completed homework and the muggle book, she stared resignedly into the fire.
She heard a chuckle from the shadows. Draco. Not again.
Closing the library door shut, she turned to find a red-faced Ron and a bemused and laughing Harry and Hermione facing her. Rolling her eyes, she awaited the incoming tirade.
It never came. It seemed Ron was too lost for words.
'You... Him... What?'
'What he means to say is, why were Draco Malfoy and you in the same room together?' Explained Harry apologetically.
Fighting back giggles as she felt light fingertips caress the sides of her waist, she vied to keep a straight face. Hermione grabbed her arm and rushed her down the corridor. Leaving a tomato and a daydreaming boy in their wake.
'Spill,' was all Hermione needed to say before Ginny understood what was happening.
'It worked. He managed to see past the façade of Ron's little sister. At last someone not happening to be my brother or my sister got to see the real me. Thank you.'
'Hey it was the least I could do to direct him where to find you.' Remarked Hermione.
And the last thing Ginny felt before entering the bustling Gryffindor common room was a light tug on her hair and a chaste kiss on the cheek.