Chapter One: Precedent
Death was imminent.
The very thrum of it could be felt beating to the exact tempo of Ginevra Weasley's footsteps as she marched down the hallway, raging fury emanating from her amber eyes like an unstoppable fire. Her hair crackled and sparked with electricity and her robes billowed behind her in a fashion that was usually associated with either a Slimy Potions Master, or the Headmaster. It was as if robes were aware of who held power; they remained tepid and limp on everyone else. Ginny's robes fairly flew.
The surrounding students all knew exactly why she was angry, of course. Secrets rarely, if ever, lasted in Hogwarts. There were too many gossips, too many eyes and ears. Even the walls could be traitors.
Ginny's boyfriend had cheated on her, with one, rightfully terrified, Daphne Greengrass.
Daphne was safely -or as safely as possible, when one was dealing with an angry Ginny- ensconced in the Slytherin dungeons, protected by those of her friends who had not yet abandoned her out of terror and the viable fear that they would be marked as enemies of the Weasley girl through their association. But Ginny was not concerned with the whereabouts of Daphne for now. Right now, she wanted revenge on him.
She snarled viciously as she stalked down the hallway, her hand fisted over her wand and her other hand squeezed so tightly into a ball that her fingernails drew little crescent moons of blood from her palm.
How dare he? Her nostrils flared, and she took on an uncanny resemblance to a wolf. Her eyes narrowed into slits and she inhaled sharply through her nose, almost as if she was testing the air for his scent. As she spun into the next corridor, her pace quickened and her feet started to slap the floor loudly, like she was trying to call as much attention to herself as she could. She wanted people to see this.
Finally, she ended up in the Great Hall, and found it scattered with students, all of whom looked up anxiously at her entrance. She made her way to the Gryffindor table, shoving a petulant third year out of her way as she zoned in on her quarry.
Ron, her traitorous brother, stood up with his hands held out in a motion of surrender. He moved his hands through the air, towards her shoulders, like he wanted to restrain her. He wasn't surrendering, he wanted to placate her.
"Ginny," he began, using his most authoritative tone, "let's just calm down for a minute-"
"Get out of the way." she snapped, impatient. She made to move past him, but his hands found her upper arms and he gripped her hard.
"Gin, listen," he tried again, his voice sounding strained. She yanked her arms from his grip, almost hitting him in the nose with her elbow.
"Get out of my way!"
Over his shoulder, she could see the black hair and the glint of glasses of the boy who had so completely duped her. Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Was-About-To-Be-Killed-By-A-Seventeen-Year-Old-Female.
Hermione, equally traitorous in her act of protection, had her one hand resting firmly on Ron's shoulder, and the other lightly reassuring Harry. Ginny began to see red.
She had only found out about his 'indescretion' all of seven minutes ago, and already it seemed like the Harry Potter she had been in love with had never existed. The Trio she had never truly been a part of had become, almost instantaneously, a cement wall against her. Impenetrable, implacable, immovable. They were a separate entity that would never be a part of her, a single being that was untouchable, and something that she didn't really want to explore any longer.
She forced her way past Ron and found herself at last in front of Harry. He looked up at her with an expression she knew all too well. The kind of patronizing regret she had always hated; the kind of look she used to get from her older brothers when they would tell her that, no, she couldn't come play quidditch, because, yes, she was too little. She was too young to understand.
It was the look that set her apart from them as the girl who was to be loved and coddled but never included.
Well, she would show them. She would make them regret ever having excluded her. They would regret treating her as though she was too dumb to understand.
They would rue the day that they had shunned Ginevra Molly Weasley.
She didn't even need her wand to send them the most powerful Bat Bogey Hex any of them had ever seen. Had she used her wand, and spoken the incantation out loud, there would probably be no Trio left. As it was, even without the incantation and the wand channel, they were buried so deeply beneath a pile of slimy, fluttery bat bogeys that it would take at least a week for them to recover.
She spat on the pile, as if it would make them any filthier, and turned on her heel. The entire way back to her dorm room she was muttering under her breath, sending mutinous glares at any who dared ask her if she was alright, or, heaven forbid, actually reach out a hand to stop her for any unbeknown reason.
Once firmly locked in the dorm room, she began to seethe openly, flinging her robe across the room, kicking her bed, pummeling her pillow with her fists, and sending such a vicious blow with her foot to her trunk, the big box flipped over and the contents sprawled onto the floor. What had been the at the bottom of the trunk was now near the top, and Ginny found herself face to face with a top which had been severely grown out of, and a brilliant idea popped into her head.
It was time for a makeover.
She grinned manically. When her dorm mate, Sterling, came in a moment later, she stopped at the door with an expression of pure shock.
"Ginny! What are you doing?"
Her clothes were now strew across the bed, and Ginny was taking her wand to them methodically, shrinking and cutting and adjusting each article to be smaller and tighter. She transfigured several skirts into sheath skirts and a blouse into a dress so formfitting that there would be absolutely nothing left to the imagination when Ginny wore it.
Sterling sat dumbly on her bed. Perhaps she should get help?
Ginny had certainly never had a meltdown before, but she supposed there was a first time for everything. Was this the end of Ginny Weasley? Was this foreign girl here to stay? A strip of fabric flew across the air and the smell of burning cotton reached her nose.
This wasn't going to be pretty.
Sterling was wrong. It was going to be marvelous. It was going to be shocking.
When Ginny unveiled her first step in absolutely getting over the Golden Trio the next morning, there was a feeling of jaw dropping awe throughout the Great Hall.
She looked amazing.
She had done her hair in big waves that fell well past her shoulder blades to the tucked in waist which was now accentuated more than it had been before. Her crisp white blouse was tucked in to a high waist skirt that sculpted its way around the soft flare of her hips and down to the narrowing of her silhouette just below her mid thigh. She had somehow managed to get hold of a brilliant, thick black belt with a shiny oversized buckle and it made her waist seem like it wasn't even there. Her legs seemed to be miles long. Her neck was elegant and pretty, and her dewy skin was pale and pinkened with the attention currently being sent her direction.
Somehow, no one had noticed just how slim and fit she was. Somehow, the male population had failed to see just how tall and luxe and glamorous she was, when she had just been the hanger on to the Trio, and under the protection of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. But now that she had been so obviously shunned and cast aside, every single male had his eyes fixed firmly on Ginny Weasley.
And the eyes which held the most interest, the most hunger, belonged to Draco Malfoy.
Just when had the little Weasley grown so- so gorgeous? He licked his lips. Suddenly his mouth felt very dry.
He was attracted. He was drawn, like she was the only pool of water for miles and miles. From her hesitant place near the door, she glanced towards his table, and saw him looking at her. Her cheeks flushed a pretty pink, and her delectable mouth quirked into a half smile. He moved down the bench and motioned to the room he had just made. She raised her eyebrow and he grinned salaciously. She shrugged her delicate shoulders almost imperceptibly and made her way over to his part of the table.
A hush fell over the room, and each of her footfalls were audible on the cold stone floor. She seemed to grow more confident with the pressure of everyone watching her. Her shoulders drew back and her spine straightened. She smirked.
"Hello, Malfoy," she said when she reached him. She placed a fine boned hand on his shoulder and used him to sit down. Her skirt was too tight to get her legs over the bench, so she didn't try. She sat with her back to the table, and the rest of the school, and faced him, folding one knee over the other.
Instantly, the hush dissipated and an excited murmur shot through the students.
"Hello, Weasley," Draco said. He pulled her hand to his mouth and kissed her knuckles, every inch the aristocratic gentleman he was bred to be. Suave to the core.
She inclined her head, not out of submission, but out of mockery.
She leaned in, and he could hear her breaths, smell her perfume. "So," she breathed. "Would you like to make Harry Potter angry?"
"Are you part of the bargain?" said Draco, drawling his words just enough that he sounded more seductive than he felt. She smiled, and her eyes sparked with humor and mischief.
"I might be." she told him.
"Then definitely." he put a hand on her thigh; low enough that she wouldn't feel uncomfortable, but high enough that the rest of the people in the hall saw the possessiveness of his action. She put a hand over his and squeezed it.
"Good." She looked in his eyes. "Kiss me."
And so, never one to refuse such a direct order from a lady, he did.
Death could wait. She had never felt this thrill of exhilaration before. She had never been this brazen; this shameless. She could practically hear the condemning looks that she knew Harry and Ron and Hermione were sending her. And she didn't care.
The freedom was intoxicating. His hands on her were intoxicating. His other hand ran in lazy circles over her back and her neck and then to the side of her face, tangling in her hair and his thumb brushing her jaw bone so softly that she had to arch her neck to feel any contact between their skin. '
He was clearly a master at this. Draco Malfoy. Sex God. Sexy, sexy beast.
His eyes, when she had caught his gaze- they had sent shivers down her spine like someone had dropped an ice cube down her shirt. Cold grey, molten steel illuminated by desire. Her belly had tightened convulsively and she had had to squeeze her hands into fists again to retain a reasonable train of thought.
His tongue slipped between her lips and traced the rim. He came up for air and breathed heavily against her cheek, "Go to Hogsmeade with me?"
"Absolutely," she breathed back. And then he was kissing her again, devouring her, tasting her lips, her skin, her tongue. She could smell the fresh scent of mint and lemon on his skin, invigorating.
Finally, they broke apart. Their lips were swollen and her hair was tangled and knotted. His shirt was crinkled.
She wiped the back of her hand as nonchalantly as she was able across her mouth, dragging the now nearly rubbed off lipstick she had applied so carefully that morning with it.
She gave him a saucy wink and snatched a piece of bacon from his plate. Standing, she turned to look at him once more, and just before she bit into the meat, she said, "Hogsmeade. See you around, Draco."
And then she left.
One glance over the rest of the hall told her that her work here was finished. The Trio's mouths were hanging open like a giant, collective fish, and Ron's dangerous shade of puce meant that she had no more than ten minutes to escape and barricade herself in her bedroom. Harry was an unusual shade of mottled pink that she had not seen him wear before, and she guessed that he would be joining Ron in their attempted hassling. Hermione looked equal parts disgusted and intrigued.
Ginny blew a kiss in their direction, and then left the hall.
Damn, she was good