II. First Run-In
- Check the first chapter for the usual blurb – Author’s Note:
So far my muse is with me on this fic, hopefully it stays with me until the bitter end. And hopefully that bitter end doesn’t come too soon or else I’m going to be screwed. But regardless, thank you for reading & enjoying the first chapter. Here’s the second one for your reading pleasure & if you want to comment, please, constructive criticism is always welcomed by yours truly. II. First Run-In
DRACO DIDN’T KNOW WHO WAS shocked the most: him or the red-haired witch he ran in to in the hallway of the teachers’ quarters. Since he wasn’t a house head, he was stashed away to stay in the Teachers’ Wing with the other professors while those who were house heads – like his old pal, Zabini – got to have a room of their own closer to their house’s dormitory.
“Malfoy?” Ginny Weasley looked dumbstruck and chagrined too when she finally recovered from the shock of their run-in with each other. “What are you doing here?” she demanded.
“Walking down the hallway,” was Draco’s flippant reply. He tried not to show his shock at seeing her again after all these years, and so far he was doing a damn good job.
“I was referring to what you’re doing here at Hogwarts,” she reiterated sounding a bit annoyed at his smart-alecky retort.
well, I teach here. And you?” He knew it was a stupid question to ask considering he ran in to her at the Teachers’ Wing hallway, but he couldn’t think of any other rebuttal to say to her.
“Teach?” she echoed, her eyes bugging out and her jaw nearly dropping on the floor.
Draco relished the dumbfounded look on the youngest Weasley’s face. He couldn’t help but reverting back to his old self and smirking smugly while looking down his nose at the feisty redhead. He crossed his arms over his chest and stared at the redhead, relishing this rare opportunity and delighting in the thought that he could still provoke such reaction from others. He thought he lost his touch during his absense, but even though he was away he practiced being snarky on others from time to time. It came as a good excuse sometimes when he snapped at an annoying colleague.
WHO WAS IT that you said you ran in to in the Teachers’ Wing?” Luna Lovegood, Divinations’ professor and close friend to Ginny Weasley since their school days here at good ol’ Hogwarts, asked when she met up with her friend and colleague at the staircases on their way to the Great Hall for the start of the annual back to school feast and welcoming of first years to the school.
“Draco Malfoy,” Ginny hissed and gave a quick look over her shoulder as if she was being followed, which was ridiculous since she was left to pick up her jaw from the floor by the annoying prat who nearly gave her an apoplexy when she ran into him coming out of her quarters.
“What?” Luna’s face hardly registered shock at hearing who
her friend just ran in to, but the tone of her voice wavered and told Ginny she was surprised to hear the name of the person no one has seen nor heard from in years. “Are you sure?”
Ginny made a face at her friend as they continued to descend the stairs, careful not to be caught unaware when the damn thing moves, and said, “I wouldn’t be this distrubed if I wasn’t sure.”
“True,” Luna agreed then added, “But what
is he doing here? Did he tell you or did you ask?”
“He said he’s teaching here.”
“Really?” This time Luna raised an eyebrow. “Did he happen to tell you which one of the open positions he’s taken over teaching?”
Ginny shook her head. In her surprise at hearing his answer, she didn’t get the chance to ask him what
class he has taken over teaching. When the last term ended she knew there were at least four vacant positions available: Ancient Runes, Ghoul Studies, Potions, and Care of Magical Creatures. The last one Ginny was certain has been filled since she saw Ron, the new Care of Magical Creatures professor, board the Hogwarts Express to accompany their first year nephews.
“I’m not sure,” Ginny answered.
“Oh well,” shrugged Luna. “I guess we’ll find out along with the students who got which teaching job for this school term.”
DRACO FELT EVERY eyes at the teachers’ table were directed at him. He was thankful he was seated between Zabini and Bell who acted as his buffers against those penetrating eyes of his new colleagues.
“Why do I feel like I’m under scrutiny?” he muttered to himself as he tried to enjoy the rest of his meal.
Bell heard his muttering and to his surprise – and the shock of the others at the table as well – turned to talk to him. Draco was momentarily shocked at this action from the same woman who, just last night, barely paid him any attention when they sat side by side at the dinner table.
“Can you really blame Harry and his friends from not
staring at you, Professor?” she inquired. She didn’t sound condescending or patronizing.
“I guess if I were in their position I’d react the same too,” he shrugged then stole a quick glance down the long table at the area where the former Gryffindors – and the odd Ravenclaw – were seated staring at him. “But can’t they get over the shock?”
“I don’t think it’s that easy,” smiled Bell then returned back to eating and conversing with the teacher seated on her other side.
“You’ll get used to it and they’ll get over it soon,” Zabini whispered on his other side.
“What do you mean?” Draco frowned.
“I received the same sort of treatment when I came in as the replaced History of Magic teacher a couple of years ago, but the staring didn’t last long. I think after the Headmistress’ announcement I was all but forgotten.”
If only it was that easy. Zabini made it sound like the stares Draco was currently receiving was a passing fancy for their other colleagues whom he tormented and pestered – a lot – in the past. One of them held a deep-seethed grudge against him after what he did during his sixth year. Granted he nearly eviscerated him that year, but that happened before
he found out what the Death Eaters’ plan was and what Draco’s role in it was all about.
DID YOU SEE THAT?” Hermione Granger, Transfiguration professor and Ravenclaw House Head, demanded as she and her friends filed out of the Great Hall after the feast. “I thought my eyes were just playing tricks on me when I caught a glimpse of that mop of blond hair, but when the crowd cleared and we were all seated I was able to finally have a good look at the new teacher with Zabini.”
Ginny and Luna fell behind the Trio – Harry, Hermione and Ron – and kept their mouths shut. The friends exchanged knowing looks as soon as Hermione started talking about Malfoy’s presence at Hogwarts.
“I thought that git’s dead already?” Ron snapped, clearly he wasn’t happy knowing that his former nemeses was back and working alongside him at Hogwarts.
“That wasn’t proven as a fact,” Luna interrupted. “It was just speculation that Draco Malfoy died,” she added.
Ron merely gave her a look over his shoulder and rolled his eyes. Ron tolerated Luna’s presence all these years because she and Ginny were friends, but the two of them barely see each other eye to eye.
“Whatever. If Malfoy’s back, I better be on guard,” Ron muttered.
The conversation continued as the fivesome made their way out of the Great Hall. Hermione had to bid them good night at the stairs since she was headed to the west wing where the Ravenclaw Tower was located and her House Head quarter was as well.
Ron continued his tirade about having Draco Malfoy teach at Hogwarts all the way to the Teachers’ Wing. Ginny was surprised that Harry hadn’t said anything since the end of the feast and they all made their way back to their quarters.
Ron and Luna’s rooms were closer to each other and were the first ones they passed by as soon as they turned the corner to the Teachers’ Wing. They bid the twosome goodnight before continuing on down the long hallway. Ginny’s room was the next stop and Harry’s was nearing the end. As per customary since they started working together, Harry walked Ginny to her door, in this case it was a pillar that moved aside to reveal a passageway behind it, and waited for her to enter. But instead of tapping the five correct trigger points to unlock the pillar like she used to, Ginny stood before it and met Harry’s gaze.
“Are you alright?” she asked. His silence spoke volumes. She was surprised neither one of his best friends noticed it, but Ginny picked up on what Harry’s silence was about.
Harry took a deep breath before slowly exhaling it. They’ve been close friends since the end of their short-lived romance back in his sixth year. Ginny was the only person who could read him like a book.
“I don’t know, Gin,” he admitted. “I’ve been asking myself that same question ever since I sat down at dinner.”
“Don’t keep it bottled up inside,” she advised.
“I can’t. I have to.”
Ginny shook her head and reached out a hand to cup Harry’s cheek. “You don’t have to. It’s been years already, Harry. It’s time to let some things go.”
“I tried. I thought I did already, but I saw him again and...I was transported back to that night, Gin,” he explained.
“He wasn’t the one who used the Killing Curse,” she reminded him.
“I know that, but he was still responsible for how
“You can’t blame him forever, Harry. You already avenged Dumbledore’s death ten times over. It’s time for you to let your anger go,” she advised.
Ginny didn’t answer him right away. Instead she broke into a small smile and leaned forward to plant a tender good night kiss part on his cheek and part on his lips.
“You’ll think of something,” she told him after she pulled back.
Harry remained standing outside her door until after she has gone inside her room. He waited two heartbeats then turned to continue on walking down the hallway until he reached his own room.
Hidden in the darkness a pair of steel grey eyes watched the interaction between the couple. He couldn’t help but overhear their conversation since they weren’t really that far from where his room was. They didn’t say any names, but he knew who they were talking about. Waiting until the hallway was empty, Draco moved away from where he was hiding in the shadow behind one of the stone statues lined up and down the hallway. He stared at the pillar where Ginny disappeared to then his gaze moved on down the hallway to where Potter’s room was. He couldn’t tell if Ginny and Potter were still together, but the interlude he witnessed between the two of them – and the kiss Ginny planted on Potter’s cheek – spoke volume.
“Something tells me this is going to be one long school year,” Draco muttered to himself before turning to tap the marble statue of Ares’, God of War, arm and gently pushed it down gently. The wall before him soon began to fade until he could see the inside of his room. He stepped inside, removing his wand’s tip from where it was connected to the statue’s arm and slowly the wall that hid his room became visible once again.
= = = = = = = = = = = = A/N 2:
OK, I set up a certain “problem(s)” that must be solved by our characters. It will cause them grief or whatever, and before you ask, I am not sure who else will be paired with who aside from Draco & Ginny. I have some ideas on who might be with who, but since not all of the players are introduced yet, I think it’s too premature to speculate just yet.