Unofficial Portkey Archive

Highrollers by InTheStars



Note: *leaves this here* I'm on a roll. Thank you for your reviews!

It was miraculous how quickly and thoroughly Draco seemed to leave her alone. She should be happy about it, fully and completely, and she supposed she would be. If only it weren't confusing and strange and if only she didn't spend half her time over the next several days looking over her shoulder. That was the nerve-wracking part of all this; Ginny was waiting for him to come after her again, expecting it. He wanted her, didn't he? Blaise had said he was used to getting what he wanted, and despite her immediate misgivings about trusting the Slytherin, she couldn't help but lend his words some credence.

But she only saw Malfoy in the Great Hall after that Sunday, strutting in with that ridiculously self-entitled gait, head held high, as if he had nothing to be ashamed of. He hardly glanced at her to her knowledge, which was considerable, since she spent a bit of time glancing at him, just to make sure he wasn't looking at her.

She felt awful about it, and angry that she felt awful, because she was just looking out for herself, being so aware of him. But that wasn't the whole truth and she knew it, of course. Frankly she was ashamed of herself, still being drawn to him after he treated her as he had. Three times now. Three times over. What kind of person did that make her? She felt like a first year again, sick with twisted affection for a possessed diary and unable to stay away. Not that she'd call this affection. It was more aptly named lust, as if that made it any better.

Draco Malfoy was driving her mad. That was the conclusion she came to by mid-week-that or she had been stark-raving before and he simply pushed her over the edge.

"Ginny, I think I'd like some eggs. Would you pass them?" Luna's voice startled her from such musings that Wednesday morning. They were sitting at the Ravenclaw table, eating a bit of breakfast before the day began, and Ginny had been peeking over her friend's shoulder to catch a glimpse of the Slytherin table. She diverted her eyes quickly and handed over the bowl, turning determinedly back to her plate.

Perhaps it was time she went on with her life, just as it had been before this mess. Perhaps he was done with her and she could breathe a little easier. Just the thought had weights falling from her shoulders and she gave a little sigh, even as her stomach gave an uneasy little twist. She'd rather not acknowledge why: that as unwelcome as his demanding attention had been, she had liked certain things about it. The thrill of it, the feeling of being wanted and chased and such. It wasn't as if she had been sincerely afraid of the prat, except for that first time, just a little. But he'd-well, he'd stopped that time, and the second time, and the third time as well.

She blanched at the thought, felt physically sick, because it snuck into her thoughts for not the first time these past few weeks. The wave of shame and disgust she felt for herself nearly suffocated her for a moment. She didn't-she couldn't-she was as bad as that horrible troll if she did. She was pathetic.

She just wished the damn attraction would cease. And it would, she decided. Starting today, she, Ginny Weasley, would not concern herself with Draco Malfoy's unfortunate existence. She drank to this deal greedily, nearly gulping half of her grapefruit juice.

Unfortunately, the gods weren't so keen on this little deal with herself, and deigned to torture her for it. She stayed in some hidden, deep corner of the library too late that night-too hidden and too deep for even Madame Pince to check before she retired to bed. Ginny fell right asleep atop her Potions homework sometime after dinner and didn't wake up until the stars were out and a bit of ink had seeped into her cheek.

She wasn't aware of the latter, but she was certainly aware it must be past curfew when she jolted awake, as if suddenly realizing she had dozed off. It was quiet-quiet in that off-putting way only an empty, old library could be. The only light was from the moon, streaming in from the window behind her. It lit her surroundings in an eerie blue glow, along with her ink, her old quill and half-filled parchment. Blearily, she rubbed her face and cursed softly, raising from her armchair with stiff limbs, and started gathering her things.

Draco set about his rounds that night both irate and tired. A part of him wished some ickle firsties might be out of bed and roaming the castle-or better yet Potter and company-so he could expel all this excess frustration. He could take ten-no, twenty points-from their inferior house and maybe even doll out a detention or seven. Draco hardly needed the extra encouragement to be so giving, especially when it came to such insufferable idiots, but today Pansy had managed to get on his last nerve during dinner. She even steered clear of him afterwards, not bothering to drape herself over him in the common room and annoy him incessantly by begging for forgiveness.

Ever since he had initiated his little side project or whatever it was concerning Ginny Weasley, Pansy had taken to lavishing him with attention double-fold. He tolerated it because what would father think if he sent his future wife crying to her pug-nosed parents? Not that they were officially betrothed or anything, but Draco knew what his parents expected of him, and the Parkinsons were a noble, wealthy family of good blood.

However, it wasn't as if Draco particularly liked Pansy as a person. She was clingy and despite her upbringing could still use a few lessons in proper etiquette. He supposed she'd been charming those first few years of school, but now he was bored of her. And the way she pestered him. Gods, it set his teeth gritting just thinking about her transparent jealousy for that redheaded tart.

Of course that was the cause of Pansy's outburst: Ginny Weasley.

Dinner had started normally enough that night. Draco had sat next to Blaise; Pansy next to Tracey. Theo was a good distance down the table, chatting up Adrienna Putain, in part because he was in love with the girl but mostly because Draco was still annoyed at him for encroaching on his territory. (The fact that Theodore had noticed Ginny first was of no concern to Draco. He was a Malfoy.) Blaise and Tracey were being their sickeningly sweet selves and whispering to each other across their plates; Draco had long since stopped suspecting they were plotting or exchanging too many secrets worthwhile. They were just in love, although to their credit they weren't disgustingly public about it. Of course, Pansy was yammering about this or that and Draco was merely trying to eat his chicken in some semblance of peace.

"-find the counter-curse for it. Do you know the one I mean? And of course Longbottom is as blind as he is stupid and nearly crushed my toe. It just goes to show-are you listening to me, Draco? I'm trying to tell you a-Draco, why are you staring at that stupid bint again? I'm talking to you!"

He was, in all honesty (not that Draco was ever very honest), looking at Ginny while Pansy was rambling, not that it was anyone's concern or business. The problem with Pansy was that she thought it was her concern and business. Sure enough, she was an unattractive magenta color and glaring hard at him when he slid his eyes to her face.

He rose a condescending brow at her and asked simply, "What do you want now, Pansy?"

She flushed, her fingers curling tight around her cutlery. "I want you to look at me when I'm speaking to you! And stop gazing at that dirty thing over my shoulder," she added in an incensed undertone.

By this time, both Blaise and Tracey had ceased their lovers' talk and were observing the argument with mild interest. Draco, on the other hand, was clenching his jaw, his eyes cold with distaste. Pansy almost flinched at the sight of it, but held her chin up. "Pansy, we are not a couple," he hissed to her. "And whining isn't helping your case, did you know that? It's rather unattractive. I suggest you stop."

Her face had crumpled at that, her jaw dropping slightly as he rose and tossed his napkin on the table. He nearly felt a pang of remorse at the pain taking hold of her features, but he shrugged it off as he stalked out of the Great Hall. She had to back off and stop telling him what to do and where to look. He was not gazing at Ginny Weasley, for Merlin's sake. He was simply admiring her general being and wondering over her blasted existence, that was all. She was disgusting. Her red hair was eye-catching. Frankly unavoidable. And completely out of his fucking reach. No, no. He didn't want to lower himself; he was out of hers.

Had he gone mad thinking these things? He was beginning to suspect so. He wanted to curse himself for going to Theodore's poker game that night, for even seeing the girl in her skimpy knickers. He seemed to hate himself (no, he hated her, never himself) more and more each day for letting his pride and hormones get the best of him, because that was surely the case here. Father always said to remember oneself, one's superior place in the world. And most important of all, to keep oneself in check and under control at all times.

And Ginny Weasley-Ginny Weasley-had been such a fucking force of nature that she nearly burned down all of those lessons before he thankfully realized it. (Or more accurately before Blaise had helped him realize days before, after his and Ginny's spat by the lake. Something about keeping a level head and how it separated them from the animals; the Slytherins from everybody else. It struck a chord, and then Draco had vowed to stay away from the minx. For now.)

Really, so what if she refused to kiss him, refused to give into him? He was still content with the knowledge she wanted to, at least for the moment. He didn't need to shag her to prove his point or anything; she was below him. He had this over her, anyway. At any moment he could parade this through the halls and watch Potter and the Weasel explode. Surely she knew he had the upper-hand. She hadn't breathed a word of their encounters. So when he had time he'd continue play cat and mouse with her, but he had other things to worry about at the moment. Like rounds, and Pansy, and denying this blow to his ego, all the while nursing it back to health.

So he was in a right state patrolling the halls that night, listening hard for anyone out of bed and breaking the rules. Most of the younger students were frightened of him, and for good reason, so unfortunately such a thing was hard to come across these days, especially after curfew. He was therefore pleasantly surprised to hear the light, quick padding of footfalls near the library, and curious when he heard a few soft thuds and a muffled curse.

He smirked and turned the corner, searching for the unlucky person to receive his wrath. The torches lining the hall cast illumination on the scene in front of him: a head of crimson hair and a smudged freckled cheek. Ginny Weasley was on her knees, surrounded by littered books and quills, unaware of his presence as she sought to collect her possessions under the flickering flames.

Draco wasn't quite sure if he was blessed or cursed, having this opportunity. His smirk twisted into a half-sneer, and he walked over with purpose, delighting in the startled expression on her pretty little face when she looked up.

"It's after curfew, Weasley," he announced, stopping in front of her. He wasn't opposed in the least to the position she was in now: sprawled at his feet, like a pet. He kicked one of her ratty books towards her with the toe of his shoe. She seemed in awe for some odd reason, her cheeks flushing pink and her lips parted. He merely grinned broadly at her wide cinnamon eyes. "Ten points from Gryffindor."

This seemed to shake her out of her dull stupor, anger contorting her features. "Ten?" she sputtered.

"Another five for questioning the Head Boy," he drawled, and felt satisfaction as she pursed her lips and her eyes darkened. She wanted to say something; he just knew it, and he felt giddy with the fact that she couldn't lest she risk more points. Instead, she scooped up her books and pushed herself unsteadily to her feet.

"Good night," she said harshly and with a note of finality, and breezed past him.

He turned with her, feeling as if the encounter was too abrupt, watching as she rushed down the hall, apparently eager to be rid of him. It wasn't enough; he wanted to goad her on, get her incensed, look at her a bit more. He started to follow her, hungry for it. "That's it? I don't get a good night kiss, Weasley?"

"You know perfectly well my stance on kissing you, Malfoy," she said through clenched teeth, and walked faster. He cut her off easily and she stopped, took startled steps back.

"I'll take more points if I don't get a kiss, Ginny," he threatened with a wide grin. She looked disgusted, then astonished, and then she blushed, all the way down her neck and across her chest with a frown.

"Take all you want," she said firmly, and moved to pass him. He was quicker.

"All the kisses I want or all the points?"

"The points!" she clarified, her voice unsteady and echoing, her eyes darting from his as she blushed harder. "Let me pass," she demanded.

He gazed down at her for a moment afterward, his eyes bright as they looked over her from head to toe. He hadn't pounced on her like a common animal this time, but she certainly looked like willing prey, waiting patiently, fidgeting slightly. The only thing daring about her was her assertive stance, the way she bravely forced herself to meet his eyes and set her jaw like a true Gryffindor. He'd never appreciated that silly, foolish kind of courage before this moment. It wasn't a bad look on her. Amusing, mostly.

He smirked and moved to the side. She hesitated at his compliance for just a moment, suspiciously and narrowly eying him. Then she darted past him quick, as if he'd make a grab for her. He nearly chuckled, because he supposed it was something he'd do. She was learning.

He watched her walk briskly away, then slow dramatically, and finally stop. He cocked an eyebrow with interest as she turned towards him, looking at him strangely and clutching at her books like a lifeline. What is this now? he wondered. "Malfoy," she said, then paused.

"Yes?" he prompted.

Her words were clipped but sincere, starting slow and then tumbling out between her lips in a rush. "I hope you-well, I hope you realized that what you were doing to me was wrong and that's why you've stopped."

"Wrong?" he echoed with a note of incredulity. He supposed it was wrong, in a way, but not in the way she probably meant. It was wrong because it was a displeasing reflection of his character, wrong because his father wouldn't approve of his lack of control or his taste in women. He hardly did himself. But was it wrong to kiss her when she liked it, touch her when her body wanted it? Draco couldn't help but feel like that area was grey. She'd baited him a bit, hadn't she? Allowed it to a point? She was hardly innocent.

But he bet Potter wouldn't have kissed her like he did, wouldn't have touched her like he did, all noble and chivalrous as he was, and probably how Ginevra Weasley expected her men. Then again, Draco would bet Ginny might have been more open to the experience with that big, fumbling dolt. The thought made him bristle as he took a few calculated steps forward.

"I stopped because you're beneath me," he explained smoothly, cruelly, believing every word, even if it wasn't the whole truth. "You're not worth the considerable effort."

She flinched at that; he saw the flint in her eyes spark with her indignation and he reveled in it. "So if it were Daphne Greengrass-or say, Pansy Parkinson-you would have forced yourself on them?" she inquired diplomatically.

He scoffed. "I wouldn't force anyone to do anything, Weasley. They'd both accept me gladly."

There was a pause, and she looked at him hard, blinking fast. He thought it a bit odd, how she was looking at him, suspicious, even; all turbulent and searchingly before she pressed her lips together. "Well, maybe you should stick to them, then." Her response was a bit forced, a bit awkward. She turned away swiftly, took steps to leave for good this time.

What had he said to warrant such stiffness, warrant that look? He flitted through their conversation, through her probing questions, through her hesitancy, how she'd rushed through her words. His eyes narrowed at a thought, and he was off after her once again, reaching to grab her arm between his long fingers. She jumped at the contact, spun around and jerked away hard, her eyes all doe-eyed and pretty under the warm light.

She hovered there and so did he for a moment, her panic lessening slightly. He realized his demanding touch and sudden proximity must have put her on alert. But he wasn't going to kiss her now; he simply wanted to study her closely, watch the way a breath hitched in her chest as he took a step forward, and then another, and another. She moved back like an opposing magnet, her eyes never leaving his, not even when her back pressed flush with the wall.

He lifted a hand, flattened its palm on the cool stone above her shoulder, leaned over and arched his neck to be level with her eyes. She merely stared guardedly, gripping her books and sucking at her bottom lip. It was distracting him just a bit, how it popped out from her teeth and flushed back with color. He sucked in a breath. "Why did you want to know why I've stopped?" he murmured curiously.

Ginny hesitated, opened her mouth to reply, but the words seemed to be lost in her throat for a moment. She shook her head. "So I'd know for sure that you are stopping."

"Hrm," he intoned, decided to test that clever response. "You have detention with me, Weasley. Tomorrow night. Now leave before I make it two."