All for a Bloody Thesis
DISCLAIMER: In my tiny little mind, there is a tiny little part that believes that a tiny little section of the Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean realms are mine. Then I take my medication and reality returns.
The pile of books slammed down with bang enough to wake the dead. Ginny sighed, not even sparing a glance up at the cause of the libraries disturbance.
"Hello Draco, had a good morning?"
She heard the telltale scoff as one Draco Malfoy threw himself in an undignified heap on the bench across from her. It sometimes startled her the way the boy once famous for having a stick made of solid gold up his arse could appear so uncouth. She knew that, had the boy's father still been alive, Draco would have never gotten away with such undisciplined behavior. Indeed he wouldn't have gotten away with a lot of things - being the close personal friend of the youngest Weasley for instance.
Ginny looked up at her newly-arrived companion and couldn't help a small smirk at the look of utter childish sulk on his face.
"That bloody Mudblood professor is a menace!"
Ginny rolled her eyes at the insult. Draco Malfoy's use of vocabulary had changed little in the three years since his graduation from Hogwarts. Quite the antithesis to the rest of him. His platinum blonde hair once slicked to perfection was now usually left to fall in his eyes and make a general annoyance of itself. His eyes, while still the same silver, had less of a granite feel to them. His fashion sense, to his mother's everlasting shame and Ginny's never-ending amusement, had undergone dramatic alterations. Draco Malfoy had become addicted to the comfort to be found in Muggle clothes. The twenty year old now sprawled across from her was dressed in a faded pair of black jeans and a t-shirt that proclaimed his unique love for people:
F**k off, I have enough friends
Ginny read the inscription for the hundredth time since the boy had spotted it in a muggle store not two months ago and rolled her eyes. Sometimes she worried for her friend. Dropping her book closed with a finger shoved between the pages she turned her attention to the sulky boy across from her.
"What did she do now?"
Ordinarily Ginny would have simply kept reading as she enquired, knowing well the pattern of Draco's rants and the length he could sometimes stretch them to, but this was a special occasion. This would be the last rant she would have the chance to listen to for a good while. Draco seemed to realize the same thing as he looked down at her postponed reading material and then up to her face. He sighed.
"What am I gonna do for complaining when you're gone Car?"
Ginny smiled. Car…short for Carrot. Only Draco Malfoy could get away with nicknaming her Carrot and live to see his twenty- first birthday.
"Well I suppose you could chat with all those professors you seem to hold in such high esteem - I'm sure they'd be ecstatic to hear of what you think of their teaching methods."
She smirked as she said it, nonchalantly rearranging the papers spread across the desk. His answer was straight out of the Draco Malfoy Handbook.
"What teaching practices? Teaching practices would indicate they actually had a clue swimming around their pea brains concerning the subject," he griped.
Ginny couldn't help the snort that escaped her lips and she watched as Draco caught her expression and grinned a bit himself. That was another difference in Draco Malfoy since his graduation; he smiled a whole lot more - genuinely, and not just maliciously. Ginny wasn't the only one who had noticed how handsome he became when he did so either. She was quite proud that her best friend had an entire wall dedicated to his good attributes in the university female toilets and quite a female following in the gossip mills. Not that it really did them any good. Ginny still snickered inwardly whenever she was approached by a girl asking after Draco's relationship status. The poor things didn't know what they were asking, or that the boy they were asking about would never in a million years look at them twice.
Ginny grinned as Draco kicked her playfully under the table and the two started a furious, though silent, war of the feet. She really didn't understand how no one figured it out - the way they acted, the way they gossiped. She watched as Draco froze and his gaze ticked over her shoulder before a smirk alit his face.
"Well…be still my loins."
Ginny laughed and rolled her eyes. She didn’t even need to turn around to know what had caught the ex-slytherin’s gaze. If he followed his usual pattern it was something tall dark and dripping in boyish good looks. Ginny had long ago given up pointing out that Draco’s taste always seemed to steer him towards the same sort of boy.
"So does this one have glasses?" she asked innocently.
She watched amusedly as Draco frowned at the figure over her shoulder a moment.
"No," he said almost sulkily. "He’s got the eyes for it though."
Ginny rolled her eyes. How anyone could be so insanely in denial she didn’t know. She was halfway tempted to ask if the boy behind her would look good with a lightning scar as well.
"You are such a fag," she said exasperatedly – her teasing evident.
Draco's grin could have lit a brothel.
Ginny laughed loudly and started another round under the table. Yes, Draco Malfoy, her best friend, was entirely and unequivocally homosexual. Apart from the few boyfriends he had encountered since the discovery, Ginny knew she was the only one who knew of his sexual preferences and even that was a bit of a fluke. In fact, she was probably the first one who knew, including Draco himself. What could she say, when your boyfriend started making eyes at Gryffindor seekers, you had to get a little suspicious.
She sent a particularly hard kick at his foot under the table and missed, hitting the leg of the table instead and sending the entire fixture shuddering. She froze just as Draco did and, as one, they spared a guilty look up at the librarian, a stern lady by the name of Madam Hardcox who made Madam Pince look like a teddy bear. Their gaze was met with one of certain hostility and Ginny and Draco exchanged a look before scooping up their combined papers and books and bolting for the door.
They had barely stumbled around the corner from the library before they both cracked up laughing.
"One of these days, she's not gonna let us back in there," Ginny said as the two started the long walk to the dorm rooms. Draco shifted the books in his arms and slung his now free one around her shoulders.
"And that will be a day of celebration!"
Ginny scoffed through her grin as she looked up at him.
"Speak for yourself, I still have a thesis to complete you know."
They turned a corner into a wide courtyard, not unlike the one at Hogwarts.
"Ah yes, and how is that coming my lady?"
Ginny rolled her eyes at Draco's fake aristocratic tone but ignored it for the most part, simply answering his question.
"Fairly well - some of these bloody concealment spells though..." She threw her hands up in exasperation...or would have, had they been free - as is was, all she really succeeded in doing was flapping her elbows weakly. She sighed. "I really don't see what was so wrong with lemon juice - hold it near the fire and presto!"
"Ah, but that would take all the fun out of trying to pronounce the Latin."
Ginny rolled her eyes.
"I have an outline but I can't start writing until..." She trailed off, thinking of their impending separation. Draco sighed, catching the mood.
"Until you take your little trip through time," he finished for her and Ginny nodded, halting at the courts edge and dropping down onto a stone bench. Draco dropped down beside her with a sigh.
"You know, I'm going to miss you terribly - who else will I get to put up with me?"
Ginny laughed and elbowed him lightly in the ribs.
"Well, if you had taken History like I suggested you'd be coming with me," she prodded and Draco scoffed.
"Not bloody likely, I get quite enough sleep in my own courses."
Ginny rolled her eyes. Binns really had poisoned the minds of the students at Hogwarts against history. Not one of her classmates now were from her old school and she rather missed having like minds to compare things with. But then, even when she did encounter other former Hogwarts students they rarely spoke. Come to think of it, the only real friends close to her own age she really had any contact with were Draco and her brother's friends and the latter only occasionally. Harry and Hermione were often hanging around the Burrow during the holidays - Hermione because Ron wanted her used to his family in preparation for her joining them (the two had been engaged for two years now) and Harry because he had no where else to go. The fantastic three were currently schooling it up at the Aurora Academy in London while she and Draco had opted for the smaller University of Quickspire in Prague. All in all, school was Ginny's life which was probably why it wasn't such a big deal for her to participate in the excursion set down by her course-handlers just last month.
Three months in another time.
Ginny dumped the papers and texts in her arms onto her small, unmade bed with a grunt. Draco had always said if nothing else, she was thorough in her research. No one could say she didn't know her history...she had the bloody humpback to prove it. With a groan, she threw herself down on the bed beside her papers...or tried to. The sound of crumpling paper signaled a slight miscalculation in her landing and Ginny swore lightly as she pulled a map out from under her elbow. One look at the paper had a sharp stab of excitement take up residence in the pit of her stomach.
Cuba, Port Rico, Santo Domingo, the Windward and Leeward Islands...all were permanent fixations in her mind and she had done her fair share of research on all. But they weren't the names causing her happy stabbings. That blame lay with the two settlements on either side of Hispaniola. Tortuga and Port Royal. The names were no strangers in the Muggle world and practically famous in the Wizarding. In the seventeenth century when Witchcraft had been as taboo as privateering, the two most infamous settlements were not only havens to the thieves of the ocean.
Ginny frowned slightly. Pirates. She had done her fair share of research on them as well, most of it by accident. It seemed whenever you asked questions about the Caribbean, pirates came with the packaged deal. Villainous scoundrels who decided when and where the law suited them, the Pirates of the Caribbean were infamous for their ferocity and their cunning.
Ginny traced her fingertips through the Windward pass, barely swallowing a squeal of excitement. Despite her apprehensions about pirates she knew it was the chance of a lifetime. This was her chance to essentially make her mark on history...and have it make its mark on her.