Behind a Green Curtain

Chapter 8

Ginny dug herself further under her tumbled covers.

It was very nearly midnight, and she still couldn't sleep. She could never sleep when she was excited; when she was very young and Harry Potter would stay at her house, she'd barely close an eye.

At the moment her mind was extremely agitated. She had become consumed by a boy, and she was making an idiot of herself over him, which was something that hadn't happened since she was a little girl and she’d first met Harry Potter in person.

When Ginny got a crush on a boy, a really serious crush, she tended to act entirely unlike herself, which was what had happened at the Quidditch pitch with Malfoy that morning. She'd been wanting to give back his cloak, had seen him sitting alone, and had intended just to hand it to him and leave. But there was something about the way he told her she should have kept it, maybe it was the way he'd looked at her when he said it...Besides, something about him just sitting alone, without Crabbe and Goyle or Pansy and her friends, had peaked her interest. So she had sat down uninvited, as if they were friends. And then he had started staring at her, and blushed when she'd caught him...She'd struggled to find something to break the silence, had come up with one of the dumbest comments ever...The truth was, she was entranced by his behavior. He had been acting most un-Malfoyish in the last few days, and she really wanted to know why. In fact, she was determined to figure it out.

And worst of all, she was replaying these events in her head over and over and over again, and very quickly becoming infatuated with someone she'd strongly disliked not two days ago. Crazy Ginny Weasley, thinking like she could ever break the ice between herself and Draco Malfoy.

The next morning found Ginny bleary-eyed from lack of sleep. She didn't do well in class at all, and she actually fell asleep during History of Magic. And she didn't see Draco Malfoy anywhere; he wasn't at meals, and though she saw his friends in the hallway she never saw him. The next day was the same, and the day after that. She spent rather a long time trying to evaluate if she actually cared about how he was; she tried to tell herself she didn't, but then she found that she kept worrying about him.

Finally she decided to resort to asking about him. This was a difficult task, as she was not on speaking terms with anyone in Slytherin and the Heads were sure to be curious if she asked after him. But the "trio" were always on the inside loop when it came to that sort of thing, and she realized that if she was going to ask anyone, she’d have to ask them.

"I haven't seen Malfoy in ages, have you?" she asked at dinner, hoping she sounded nonchalant. To her surprise, Ron and Hermione both glanced at Harry, who ducked his head.

"What?" asked Ginny, looking from one to the other.

"You haven't told her?" asked Hermione accusingly.

Harry shook his head, frowning.

"Haven't told me what?" asked Ginny, annoyed.

"Malfoy's in the hospital wing," said Ron brusquely. "Harry had, a sort of fight with him."

"A fight? What'd you do?" demanded Ginny, looking across the table at Harry.

"I, um..." Harry sighed. "You remember the Half-Blood Prince's book, don’t you?”

“I thought you’d got rid of it?”

“He didn’t, obviously,” said Hermione, frowning at Harry.

“Well,” said Harry quickly, “there's a spell in there, Sectumsempra - a spell to use on enemies, the book said, and I used it on Malfoy. But I didn't know what the spell did..."

"What'd you do to Malfoy?" asked Ginny.

"I don't know," returned Harry, staring into space. "I cast the spell, and the next minute he's on the floor with blood everywhere. Then Snape comes in and he...he heals the wounds somehow...I wonder how he did it..."

"What does it matter? You nearly killed him, didn’t you!" snapped Ginny. Ron, Hermione and Harry looked at her in surprise, and she realized that she probably shouldn't be worried about Malfoy's health. "You could get into serious trouble for something like that, Harry," she added quickly.

"He already did," said Hermione stiffly. "And we've got rid of that book. Nothing like that's going to happen again, not if we can help it. I mean, Malfoy's Malfoy, but it'd be wrong to use a spell like that, even on him."

"Right," said Ginny, who was barely listening. Was Draco at this very moment lying in the hospital wing near death? The thought made her stomach twist for some reason, and her dinner suddenly tasted dry and unsavory.

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