Behind a Green Curtain

Chapter 7

He talked to her again that afternoon, after school was over.

He had gone out to the Quidditch pitch to think and to be away from everyone for a while. He was in a slightly despondent mood; he climbed up into one of the towers and sat still, staring out into the rain. He hadn't been there long when he suddenly heard a scramble and a little huff behind him. He turned his head and saw a somewhat comic sight: red-faced Ginny Weasley, scrambling up towards him with a bundle under one arm.

"Hi," she said sheepishly, standing up in front of him.

"Hi."

"This is yours," she said unceremoniously, thrusting the bundle at him. He turned it over and saw that it was his cloak, the one he'd given her by the lake.

"You could have kept it," he said.

Ginny flushed red to the roots of her hair, which caused an odd tickle to run up Draco's spine. "Oh," she said. Then, to his surprise, she sat down in a little flutter of robes next to him, close enough that he could feel warmth at his shoulder. He began to pray wildly that he didn't say anything to embarrass himself, something he'd never done before...so this is how the other half lives, he thought. He stole a glance at Ginny, who was staring out at the pitch as he had been just a minute again. She really did have very long eyelashes, red like her hair...she suddenly looked up at him, and he felt his color rise at having her catch him looking.

This was ridiculous.

Ginny twisted her small hands in her lap. "Do you come out here a lot?" she asked.

"Do I...what?"

"Don't make me say it again." She ducked her head, hiding her face from him in her hair. Was she being shy? Of all things...she came out here in the freaking rain to talk to him and she couldn't find anything to say and got shy.

"No," he said. "Only when I want to be alone."

"Oh," said Ginny, standing up immediately. "I'm sorry, then. I'll go."

"No!" said Draco, inwardly cursing himself for how desperate he sounded. "That is, you don't have to. It’s fine."

Ginny sat down, rather red in the face, and resumed her staring into space.

Draco began to wish he had just let her go. It would have fitted his resolve quite nicely. He looked down at Ginny's small feet swinging below them...he wasn't sure why he was so entranced by them...they were just feet, after all...

"So..." said Ginny suddenly, "that whole, um, following me thing...why did you do it?"

"Is that what all this is about?" he asked.

"No! I mean, I want to know, but don't get mad."

He wasn’t mad. Maybe he should have gotten mad, but she was looking up at him with an anxious expression that made him change his mind. He looked away, unable and unwilling to answer her, and muttered, "You should go."

"Sorry," Ginny muttered, flushing again. "I really am going this time." She stood up and stepped away from him like he was diseased. He let her go this time, and she didn't look back as she hurried off the pitch.

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