Disclaimer: JK owns them all!
Sometimes you suddenly see people differently. You see it in schools all of the time; when people reach a certain age they begin to look at people who they have looked at in class for years, or passed in the corridors every day, and suddenly they see something more. And sometimes, just sometimes, people are very surprised by what they see.
Draco Malfoy made his way to the library, preparing himself mentally for whatever torture was awaiting him there. He had been assigned to "library duties" for the duration of the first term of his seventh year at Hogwarts. A few years ago Draco would have been horrified at the prospect of helping with this sort of work, and would have complained to his parents until they made sure he would be subjected to no such toil. These days, however, Draco had begun to learn the worth of doing a job, and doing it well. And also that his parents weren't always right…
And besides, this gave him a solid excuse to get out of the Slytherin common room, and away from the idiots who lurked there.
As Draco entered the library and headed towards the librarian's desk, he noticed a shock of red hair waving gently down the back of what looked to be a delectable specimen of the opposite sex in front of him. He quickly raked his eyes up and down her frame. Taller than average - though still not nearing his height - her skirt was of a length which suggested she didn't want to be dismissed by the male population as one not to admire, whilst stopping short, or long, in this case thought Draco, of being on the slutty side. Draco's interest piqued slightly: perhaps this year would contain more perks than he had expected after all.
"Ah, Mr Malfoy, you've arrived," Madam Pince's voice sounded from behind Draco, and he turned quickly from his appraisal of the girl in front of him, clearing his throat as he greeted the librarian.
"Madam Pince. I presume you know I'm assigned to work for you in the library this semester?"
"Indeed - yourself and Miss Weasley here," Madam Pince indicated over Draco's shoulder.
"Miss…" Draco began, turning slowly back to the red head. His shock registered on his face as the girl he had assessed from behind faced him, whipping her head, and hair, around to lock eyes with him. Her eyes were widened slightly in shock too, but his first instinct was one of confusion - since when had the youngest Weasley looked like that? Casting his mind back all he could think of her was as a nervous looking child. When did she grow up? And fill out? And get kind of hot?
Draco snapped his eyes away quickly. "Weasley." He finished, twisting his mouth around the name. So much for perks.
"Malfoy." The girl responded, after a slight pause in which she narrowed her eyes at the blond in front of her.
Madam Pince cleared her throat noisily, deflecting the attention back to herself. "Yes. Well, yes. You will both be on library duties this term, and let me assure you there will be plenty for you to be getting on with. There are many jobs which will need your attention, and I anticipate this being a good year for the librarys development with two such talented students on board to help."
Draco had glanced quickly at Ginny on Madam Pince's words about "talented students", surprised to hear the Weasley being linked with such high praise from the librarian. His mood did not improve when his eyes caught the girl's - who was in the act of doing just the same as him, the doubt of his talents etched all over her face. Draco began to narrow his eyes at the girl menacingly when the woman in front of him once again demanded his attention.
"So! Tonight I will just give you a tour of the library, including some of the areas you may not have seen, and I will explain some of the duties you will be assigned. Follow me!"
Draco glanced somewhat fearfully at Madam Pince's back, before turning to Ginny. He silently raised his eyebrows at her and held out his arm toward Madam Pince's retreating figure in an "after you" fashion, causing her to hesitate slightly as she met his eyes, before turning her attention to the tour, and leading the way to follow Madam Pince.
"Well, I hope you found that a useful and enlightening tour!" The librarian smiled in a somewhat strained manner. "We will finish there for the evening and you can begin your tasks in earnest tomorrow. Off you go!"
Ginny smiled and thanked Madam Pince, somewhat surprised to hear Malfoy do the same - since when did he have manners? She awkwardly walked side by side with him to the door, which he reached and held open for her absently. The action stopped her in his tracks, this was some of the most un-Malfoyish behaviour she had ever seen him display, and she was rather confused by it. Her pause gave him reason to glance up at her, confused by the delay, which jolted her into stepping through the door.
"What?" He questioned as he stepped into the corridor behind her, closing the door.
"What?" she snapped back, annoyed and confused by his behaviour. His only response was to raise an eyebrow at her. "What?" she repeated. "I was thinking, Malfoy, it is encouraged in some of the Hogwarts houses you know." She said hotly, before turning away from him and beginning her journey to the common room. She heard what sounded like a puff of amused air escape him and she looked back to have her thought confirmed by a smile on the boy's face, as he looked away from her and tugged on the strap of his shoulder bag.
"What?" she repeated once more, starting to realise this was the main word of their "conversation" so far. The boy just shook his head slightly, causing Ginny to fully turn back to him and demand: "tell me!"
He looked up at her, seeming surprised she hadn't yet fled. He seemed to contemplate her in earnest for a few moments before quickly shifting his eyes away.
"Never mind," he finally answered, before taking a short breath and holding it for a second as if unsure whether to continue. "See you tomorrow," he quickly mumbled, fleetingly looking at her once more, before turning and quickly walking away.
There's the first chapter……. Thanks for reading! I just had a bit of an urge to write a bit of D/G so thought I'd tap something out and see what people thought. If I get good reviews I'll carry it on, if not…. ;)